Chris Williamson: Tear down Labour compliance unit
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Chris Williamson: Tear down Labour compliance unit

The MP for Derby North appeared on a panel alongside former London Mayor Ken Livingstone and expelled Labour member Jackie Walker

(Credit: HOPE not hate)
(Credit: HOPE not hate)

Suspended Labour MP Chris Williamson told a fringe event in Brighton he would “tear down” Labour’s legal and governance unit.

The MP for Derby North appeared on a panel alongside former London Mayor Ken Livingstone and ex Momentum vice-chair expelled Labour member Jackie Walker on Tuesday.

The event was organised by Labour Against the Witchhunt, a group founded in 2017 to oppose what it sees as “the purge of pro-Corbyn supporters” in the party. 

Williamson told the event: “What I would do frankly is I would tear it down, the whole edifice of the legal and governance unit […] the compliance unit because we’re a political party. We’re not the Stasi.

“Let it be dealt with by our peers, devolve it to the Labour Constituency Labour Parties. Let the constituencies sort it out.”

Images of the event were shared online by the anti-racism charity Hope Not Hate, which criticised the meeting, sparking concern in the community.

The Board of Deputies wrote: “Chris Williamson seems to be making a very eloquent case for his own expulsion from @UKLabour. Why isn’t Labour acting with the same speed and determination in his case as it has with others accused of being disloyal to the party?”

In the speech, Williamson also referred to his own legal battle against Labour over his suspension from the party. “I’m expecting a decision this week. I’m hoping it will be a positive one. My lawyers are optimistic,” he said.

“But what [unintelligible] has it got to that we’re having to rely on the bourgeois court to get justice in the Labour Party,” he added.

Hope Not Hate tweeted on Tuesday: “Tonight’s meeting, is reminder of the desperate need to fight antisemitism on the left. It is good that this event was outside conference, shunned by most delegates. But so much more work is needed in order to drive this scourge from the Labour Party and movement.”

Labour Against the Witchhunt, Chris Williamson and the Labour Party were approached for comment.

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