Rights and Accountability 14 January 2021
Ken Livingstone is going to court in the UK to challenge anti-Semitism allegations.
The former mayor of London is contesting the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s controversial report that in October claimed he was guilty of “unlawful harassment” against Jews.
Along with Labour councillor Pam Bromley, Livingstone was one of only two cases of supposed Labour anti-Semitism the EHRC cited.
The report was used by Labour leader Keir Starmer as the pretext to launch an ongoing political purge against the party’s left wing – starting with former leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Livingstone and Bromley announced in a joint press release on Thursday that they had “assembled a top legal team to address the findings against them.”
They are seeking to crowdfund around $55,000 to cover their initial costs.“The EHRC’s investigation into the Labour Party was a politically-motivated attack aimed at derailing Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership,” said Livingstone in the statement. “The Commission cobbled together a half-baked case against me, justified by a flawed legal analysis.”
He said the legal challenge “will be a vital step in correcting the record and in fighting back against a McCarthyite smear campaign which has been waged against the British left over the past five years.”
Bromley said that the “EHRC report and its dubious legal analysis will have knock-on effects for freedom of expression. The right of pro-Palestine campaigners to criticise the state of Israel and its apartheid policies is being actively suppressed.”
The legal challenge – known as a judicial review – is being supported by the Left Legal Fighting Fund.
The fund was launched by left-wing former Labour MP Chris Williamson, using the proceeds of a legal win against the Labour Party in 2019.
In that case, the High Court ruled that Labour’s “re-suspension” of Williamson had been unlawful and awarded him back most of his costs.
Williamson was one of the top targets that Israel and it’s lobby sought to purge from Labour during the Corbyn years. He had been the only MP to challenge the anti-Semitism smears against Corbyn.
Corbyn’s suspension from Labour was overturned after a massive membership backlash. But after the intervention of right-winger Starmer, he remains excluded from the party’s group in Parliament.
The Morning Star reported on Thursday that Corbyn’s team will launch the first stage of a legal challenge to this exclusion in the High Court next week.
- Labour witch hunt
- Ken Livingstone
- Pam Bromley
- Left Legal Fighting Fund
- Chris Williamson
- Jeremy Corbyn
- Keir Starmer
Permalink Sean Breathnach replied on
One would have to beware of courts in the UK, because of the disgraceful way Julian Assange has been treated.
Permalink Stefano R. Baldari replied on
Ken Livingstone (along with Chris Williamson, of course) is one person who will courageously challenge EHRC's McCarthyite smears leveled against him of "unlawful harassment" against Jews. The word(s) Anti-Semitism, unlawful harassment against Jews, etc. are merely used by the Israel Lobby, the British Board of Jewish Deputies, et al, to silence people like him. Though in fact, like the boy who cried, "Wolf", those terms are in reality meaningless, but are very useful to silence critics of fascist, apartheid Occupied Palestine (Israel).
Mr. Livingstone had the same smears leveled against him four or five years ago when he openly discussed the Haavara (Transfer) Agreement colluded upon between Nazis and German Jewish Zionists whereby Jews were emigrated to Palestine. Then, as now, he was called, guess what, an anti-Semite. When he was asked to apologize for his statements by British Israel Lobby groups Mr. Livingstone replied, "I'm not apologizing." And he never did. Mr. Livingstone is not afraid to speak his mind and stands up for the right to free speech, for everyone!
Permalink Frank Dallas replied on
Well, the basis of the claims of unlawful action by Livingstone and Bromley is very shaky. The form of words implies that any Jewish person would have been offended by their comments or behaviour. The report clearly falls into the anti-semitism it seeks to discover. It also asserts that no evidence of victimisation was discovered. Somewhat surprising in a Party supposedly wick with raging anti-semites. Also, the report makes clear it wasn't Corbyn's responsibility to discipline the bureaucracy; on the contrary. it was his business not to. The bureaucracy was working against the Party, against its membership, against the voters. And, of course, what kind of body in the EHRC? It refused twice to investigate Islamophobia in the Tory Party. From the Zinoviev letter to today, the Establishment will do whatever it must to stop democratic egalitariansim. But we don't give in. We never give in. The future will be ours.
Permalink Martin Fahey replied on
At bloody last!!! This fight back is more than long overdue. The left have been utterly woeful (with a few notable exceptions) at defending against these wholly unmerited attacks. Attacks which have been at the heart of obstructing our chance for progressive government.
How can we defend others if we could not, or would not even defend ourselves? Rather, always seeking to appease the lying slanderers and just standing by as comrades were picked off in a ruthless and targeted political campaign. Backs were turned as the the vilest of underhand tactics were systematically deployed against our champions.
The campaign against us was, of course, absolutely nothing to do with addressing anti Semitism and everything to do with stopping a fairly mildly progressive government. The attacks were actually anti Semitic in and of themselves. Again the left just stood by and took it. Jewish communities have been used as a pawn in this hateful game and have been deeply unsettled by it.
Of course we on the left are not immune to racism and can always educate further on these issues but real anti semites may well take heart from what has happened.
The purges which have taken place in the LP since Ken’s “suspension” have only accelerated since they “got” Jez, and especially against so many fine upstanding Jewish comrades. These are our champions and should never have been left out to dry. Shame.
It is the most disgusting and disgraceful campaign, in terms of its mendacity, which I have ever seen in British politics over 50 years, and that’s saying something! Worse than the lies over the Iraq war, worse than attacks on working class communities from the miners strike, worse than either side of the EU referendum.
We need to get Starmer and his extremist centrists OUT of our party along with their lies and treachery and reclaim it back for the people. This could possibly be the beginning of a proper fight back. Come on Ken & Pam
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