The lifting of Chris Williamson’s suspension


A JVL Statement
Followed by a Media Release

Posted 28 June at 11.38; updated at 13.19; 29 June


Jewish Voice for Labour welcomes the lifting of Chris Williamson’s suspension by the Labour Party and looks forward to the NEC’s ratification of the disciplinary panel’s decision.

Investigations into allegations against party members are made according to procedures which operate independent of the leadership and of the Parliamentary Labour Party. The fairness of the process is undermined by hostile, personal campaigns such as that being waged against Chris, who is a hard-working and diligent MP with great standing in his constituency and a strong record of anti-racist campaigning.

There is huge support for Chris within and outside the party and this has not been reflected by the media coverage of the story.

At a time of Tory crisis and when the population of this country stands in desperate need of a Labour government under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, aiming to unite people around protection and promotion of hard won rights and services, the party needs the dedication and principled commitment of Chris Williamson and others like him.


Media Release

Please circulate widely via your networks and social media.
Please also share the original statement on the JVL website above.
Inline image

Jewish Voice for Labour condemns hostile, personal campaign against Chris Williamson

* Hostile attacks undermine fairness of Chris Williamson discipline decision
* Support for lifting Williamson’s suspension widespread but unreported
* Labour needs dedicated anti-racists like Williamson to defeat crisis-ridden Tories

Jewish Voice for Labour welcomes the lifting of Chris Williamson’s suspension by a Labour Party disciplinary panel and opposes moves to prevent its ratification by the National Executive Committee.

Investigations into allegations against party members are made according to procedures which operate independently of the leadership and of the Parliamentary Labour Party. The fairness of the process is undermined by hostile, personal campaigns such as that being waged against Chris, who is a hard-working and diligent MP with great standing in his constituency and a strong record of anti-racist campaigning.

There is huge support for Chris within and outside the party and this has not been reflected by the media coverage of the story.

At a time of Tory crisis and when the population of this country stands in desperate need of a Labour government under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, aiming to unite people around protection and promotion of hard won rights and services, the party needs the dedication and principled commitment of Chris Williamson and others like him.

“The decision to lift Chris Williamson’s suspension was made, as is proper, without intervention by the leader’s office,” said JVL co-chair Jenny Manson. “In the furore since there has been no recognition that this process is what critics of the leader have demanded, no considered analysis of what Chris Williamson said and as so often recently no sense of fairness and justice.”


NOTE FOR EDITORS

Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) is a network for Jewish members of the Labour Party dedicated to  universal human rights and dignity; justice for all; freedom of expression; and democracy in the Labour Party. Inspired by the long history of Jewish involvement in socialist, labour movement, anti-fascist and anti-racist struggles, it aims to strengthen the party in its opposition to all forms of racism including antisemitism, broadening the party’s appeal to all sections of British society. JVL opposes attempts to widen the definition of antisemitism beyond its meaning of hostility towards or discrimination against Jews as Jews and works to build understanding of and opposition to genuine antisemitism as part of the wider campaign against all forms of discrimination.

 

Comments (31)

  • Liberty says:

    Absolutely brilliant news that Chris’s terrible treatment and suspension by the Labour anti Corbyn cabal has finally been lifted but horrified that as soon as it happened they were all going around to the complicit stupid British media outlets spewing their lies and smears AGAIN and with no attempt at fair reporting. It was like watching a lynching mob. IT MADE MY BLOOD BOIL. Bloody stop it you idiots. You are traitors to Labour and millions of poor people. On the same day the horrendous Windrush Scandal buried report was leaked and hardly got a mention apart from Channel 4. SHAMEFUL

  • TP says:

    This quote from a George G tweet perfectly sums up the coup attempting fools masquerading as part of our socialist movement and taking a lot of money for not representing us ”Labour MPs: supporters of war invasion occupation apologists for torture extraordinary-rendition ethnic cleansing. Backers of Saudi Arabia, Israël,champions of Austerity, devotees of Tony Blair. What exactly is “Labour” about such MPs?”

  • Sara says:

    So very pleased that Chris Williamson, a great champion of the people, has been readmitted back into our party. He and all the others, targeted by the Israeli government lobby within the Labour Party especially the odious Hodge/Watson/Elman horrible gang etc, should all receive full apologies for this disgusting neverending witch hunt. Very sad that so many great anti racism peace campaigners have suffered this trial by media only because they support Jeremy Corbyn, poor people and the terribly oppressed abused Palestinians. WHEN WILL LABOUR EXPELL THESE SMUG HEARTLESS TROUBLE MAKERS? Completely sick of them.

  • I fear that it is not over yet. The Right with Lansman’s support is trying to reverse Chris’s reinstatement Those opposed to political interference in disciplinary and antisemitism matters are insisting that Corby interferes!

  • Dave thawley says:

    It is great JVL are supporting common sense and fairness. The critics of the complaint departments decission all seem to be blarites who have severely let the party down in the past and are now liable for reselection because of the good work Chris and others have done..their actions appear contemptible and based on what is best for themselves rather than what is beneficial to the party or our lovely friends in the Jewish community.

  • Ian says:

    Glad to see C.Williamson unsuspended ..I am still scratching my head as to what part of Chris’s statement was anti semitic…Those (RED TORY’S) still calling for his removal.. Hodge and Momentum leader Jon Lansman should face removal from the party! (Now that would be a real witch hunt.)

  • Frances Kay says:

    This ugly internal row is not about anti-semitism; that is simply a stick the right wing have found to beat Corbyn, the one the MSM has seized on gleefully, even though there is not a shred of truth in it. How many of the angry voices raised today were silent as the tomb when Walter Wolfgang challenged Milliband over his complicity with US in Iraq? He was roughly pushed and shoved from the room, and not one person came to his aid or spoke up for him This issue is about the old right wing rump in Labour desperately clinging on to their jobs, and it is high time every MP was subject to scrutiny by their branches. The activists who will be spending hours and days on the streets, telephoning and volunteering, want to know they will be helping to elect an MP who will support Corbyn and McDonnell and their policies.

  • Liberty says:

    The Witch Hunters don’t belong in the Labour Party at all. Look at the state of them. They are like parasites trying to destroy the soul and body of Labour, the principles that we all joined the party is very for. Watson and Co. keep trying to remove Jeremy Corbyn by any dispicable means that they can think of. It’s become a farce. How many ordinary people would want Watson and his backstabbing ilk being the leader? It would be very few. We love Jeremy Corbyn because he has never lost his moral compass, humanity, support for the displaced, oppressed, disabled, homeless and working class. This is what the vile Murdoch, Trump, Daily Mail, Express, Sky, BBC and Fox liars fear. They despise socalism, fair wages, free healthcare and redistribution of their obscene wealth. Memo to Watson, you are supposed to be the Deputy Leader and do your job properly holding this shambolic government to account not attacking your own while the Tory toffs are on the ropes with Bojo the Evil Clown getting away with his openly racist homophobic behaviour or go off like Chukka to the tigs, change and then of course to the Lib Dems!! Crazy. These people belong in a circus.

  • Jakki Oldfield says:

    Thank you. We so need voices if reason in this whole sorry saga. Some have lost all sense of decency and direction and are so hellbent on damaging Jeremy Corbyn by any means that they have completely lost sight of the fact that the people of this country are dying in their thousands and suffering in their millions under the cruellest of governments in living memory. Shame on them – if they win and Labour loses the next election because of their actions they will have blood on their hands just as the Tories do now. They are letting us all down so badly.

  • Linda Lomax says:

    Thank you for your endorsement of Chris. There was nothing in what he has said that is discriminatory, and he has always been an advocate against any form of discrimination.

  • Alfreda Benge says:

    Disgusting dissembling by Charlie Falconer on Politics
    Live. All his ‘evidence’ against Chris was exaggerations of Atzmon
    statements, as if Chris had read and approved them, which he certainly wouldn’t have done, and his support for innocent comrades who were expelled for dodgy reasons. That was a sign of bravery and humanity,not antisemitism. It’s so frustrating to hear the distorted versions of everything on the subject, and no-one challenges them. The cruelty of these smears is really inhumane.

  • Margaret Macdonald says:

    Absolutely agree with you.

  • Frances Kay says:

    Now the decision to suspend has been re-imposed by the NEC. It is time to change the terms of this debate. This row is not about anti-semitism. It’s time to shift the debate.Where were the angry voices when Walter Wolfgang, a Holocaust survivor, was pushed and shoved out of the room because he challenged Miliiband on his complicity in the Iraq war? Not a finger was raised to help him. This ugly row is about the right wing rump in Labour desperately clinging on to their jobs by attacking the nascent left.. We have to stop empowering them by constantly reacting, continuing the debate on their terms

  • Paul Smith says:

    And the latest news indicates how far things have gone for the worse.

  • Dave Mitchelmore says:

    Chris needs all the support we can give him as our opponents will hound him for some time to come, given the way Jackie Walker has been treated.

  • Margaret Macdonald says:

    B
    Chris Williamson’s reinstatement has been reversed. Seemingly, the clamour of faux outrage has been effective. This is kangaroo justice of the worst kind. It is revealing of the parlous state of the Labour Party and must be fought. But what I am REALLY afraid of is that all this chicanery will lead to a backlash of ACTUAL anti-semitism as a reaction to supposed respectable, representative Jewish organisations and voices whose viewpoint is rarely articulated sufficiently for we gentiles to comprehend. I am grateful for JVL standing up for reason and balance and for Jewish people everywhere.

  • David Thomas says:

    I never regarded myself as on the left of the party but the cynical witch hunt being carried out by the vindictive right has opened my eyes. Just heard Chris has just been resuspended after the orchestrated parliamentary campaign against him. Sickening.

  • David Stretton says:

    sorry to be the barer of bad news but Chris has been suspended again…what a shower the Labour Party has become…

  • Hilary De Sabtos says:

    I just wish Chris had not signed the petition of support for Atzmon, that he had indeed read and disapproved of his views!! These are own goals. It’s not about curtailing freedom of speech so much as pausing to think how your words could be distorted by malign media.

  • john tymon says:

    It is so very encouraging to see the Jewish community organising to support Jeremy Corbyn and his most loyal supporters, the very people that have been at the forefront of every demonstration and counter demonstration against racism & violent fascists for the past 52 years that I have supported Labour. I marched with Jeremy & others against real & violent anti-Semitism by the NF and other fascist thugs when they attacked Synagogues, Jewish Schools & Cemeteries, but I do not recall any of those who now accuse Jeremy, Chris, Tony & other anti-racists. Massive thank you to Jewish Voice for Labour for showing the world the true face of Judaism. “do not do unto others that which you would not wish for yourself”. Sadly too, I do not recall Jeremy’s accusers condemn the Bliar lies that took the lives of millions of Iraqis, whilst Blair went on to make in the region of £100M.

  • Anthony Baldwin says:

    Appalled at the signatories of the letter under Watson’s name and even more appalled that up to 140 others in Labour Central have been forced or felt they also had to write a letter claiming that Chris’s presence made them feel uncomfortable.
    On the silver lining side the number of MPs prepared to jump to Tom’s tune is falling from the 171 involved in the Chicken Coup to much less than half that number.
    Appalled at Starmer’s Tweets supporting this gross intrusion into the due process of the Party’s treatment of non-offenders.
    Perhaps we need a court case to sort this out?

  • Hilary De Santos says:

    I agree that Mr Williamson is not an anti-Semite. However, in reply to Alfreda’s reference to the petition supporting Gilad Atzmon, I just wish Chris hadn’t signed it if he didn’t read or know Atzmon’s views and sickening style of mocking all Jews, including socialists. It is an own goal to sign and endorse things which are dubious.

  • Elizabeth Morley says:

    Thank you, JVL! You represent the best of Judaism. You are the torch-bearers of real Labourism, not those two-faced liars, hypocrites and snakes within the PLP who have prostituted themselves to assist the orchestrators of this ludicrous but hugely dangerous witch hunt. They should be kicked out of the Labour Party for dishonesty if nothing else.

  • Liberty says:

    Sickening campaign to break Jeremy Corbyn and REAL LABOUR once again. I want to say sorry to Ken Livingstone, Jackie Walker, Chris Williamson and the other true socialists who have suffered horrendous treatment at the hands of these so called ‘mps’ for years. ON BEHALF OF ALL GOOD PEOPLE PLEASE ACCEPT OUR APOLOGIES AT WHAT YOU HAVE SUFFERED. PLEASE FORGIVE US FOR NOT BEING ABLE TO STOP THEM.

  • Alan says:

    If the JVL and its allies continue to deny there is a problem in the face of all the personal testimony, we really are stuck. I’ve been abused on LP forums and I know of others who have at conference, in CLPs and elsewhere. To say we haven’t is simply gaslighting. I think it’s more than a Jewish issue, but a fight for the ‘soul’ of the Labour Party.

  • dave says:

    I’m confused by Alan’s post – are you saying you’ve been abused for being Jewish by other Labour members? That’s something I or anyone I know in the party have not seen.

    But then you say: “I think it’s more than a Jewish issue, but a fight for the ‘soul’ of the Labour Party.” Most of us on the left of course know it isn’t a Jewish issue at all – it is indeed a battle to reclaim Labour as a socialist party.

  • S H says:

    Utterly appalled at our comrade Chris being resuspended yet again after mob rule took over. He went through months of uncertainty, stress and torment. Unbelievable. I bloody despair at the warped sense of those that are victimising good honest people while keeping schtum about REAL racist attacks from the right wing and this for the Israeli government cowardly bots you sold your souls a long time ago. LEAVE THE PALESTINIANS IN PEACE FOR GODS SAKE

  • Antonia Solomon Jones says:

    Dear Contributor, An excellent and considered contribution. I am so sad to see the attacks on Chris Williamson. There are no media reports of the over key 150 UN Resolutions including UN Security Council Resolutions 476 and 478 which condemend Israel’s “eternal claim” to Jerusalem. There is no widespread media reporting of the horrific “wall”. This “wall” was condemned by the International Court of Justice. The EU have settlement guidelines and settlement labelling. There is no condemnation for settler only roads on settler only settlements built on stolen Palestinian land. It is a tragedy. Even Nikki Haley said there were 700 UN Resolutions. Thank you.

  • David Rosenberg says:

    I’m pleased that Chris Williamson has been re-admitted to the Labour Party. The party needs people with the energy, drive and determination to fight against oppression and for social justice that he displays, and I note that he has a longer record of campaigning militantly against racism and fascism than many of his detractors.

    His comments that led to his suspension were not brilliantly phrased, and he has expressed regret about that, but the sentiment was right – that the Labour Party has done more than any other party to fight for equality; that it has done more than any other party to combat the scourge of antisemitism; and that its response on its record should be more self-confident and less apologetic. To me that is especially true when antisemitism in society is growing, yet so many of the attacks on the Labour Party on this matter are made in bad faith for factional political purposes.

    He did not say, as has been widely misreported that the party has been too apologetic about antisemitism. He is an opponent of antisemitism, as we all need to be in these dangerous times when Far Right and Populist Right forces of racism are growing across the world.

    I have not shared a platform with Chris Williamson but I have been on platforms at the same anti-racist conferences as him and have very much appreciated his heartfelt contributions.

    Do I think he could take a more nuanced approach to the debates around antisemitism, Israel/Palestine and Zionism? Yes. And I hope I will have that opportunity to discuss that with him some time while we are both helping Labour to fight for social justice locally and globally.

  • Diana Kornbrot says:

    Due to deficient labour party disciplinary procedures and rampant factionalism I have not the remotest idea as to whether Williamson, is or is not, an anti-semite.

    Honourable, open and against ad hominem arguments is what I hope for in the Labour party

    Pigs might fly and I might fly the party

  • Sara says:

    Thank you to all at JVL for uncovering the TRUTH, a word we rarely hear from the witch hunters gang totally obsessed with the Labour Party and please accept our heartfelt praise for the spectacular investigations on our behalf. JVL and the other wonderful independent minded Jewish groups and organisations around the world have also been the targets of the wicked witch hunt for confronting the liars and for their amazingly kind solidarity with the beleaguered poor Palestinian people being killed under the brutal Israeli regime. We will not be silenced by such stupid tactics. This is why they are going to such lengths to frame life legendary long anti racism peace campaigners who wouldn’t say Boo to a Goose. They are far too kind and nice to fight back against the evil doers so we will stand up for them. It’s a real honour to be on here with such intelligent accomplished people including the great David Rosenberg. We are not worthy 🙂

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