Labour expels former Momentum vice-chair Jackie Walker

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Labour expels former Momentum vice-chair Jackie Walker

Activist is kicked out over charges of making comments which were 'grossly detrimental', three years after initially being suspended

Jackie Walker
Jackie Walker

The Labour Party has expelled former Momentum vice-chair Jackie Walker, three years after her suspension.

The left-wing activist was kicked out over charges of making comments which were “grossly detrimental” to the party.

She was initially disciplined three years ago after saying “many Jews were chief financiers of the slave trade”, before being readmitted after an investigation. She was again suspended in October 2016.

A Labour Party spokesperson said: “The National Constitutional Committee has found that the charges of breaches of Party rules by Jackie Walker have been proven. The National Constitutional Committee consequently determined that the sanction for this breach of the rules is expulsion from Labour Party membership.”

The Jewish Labour Movement welcomed her expulsion but criticised the party for taking so long to act.

A spokesperson said “despite a clear and unambiguous case of prejudicial and grossly detrimental behaviour against the Party, this expulsion comes two and a half years too late.”

They accused her of having been “key to perpetuating a culture of denial and obfuscation” of antisemitism, and being “free to make a mockery of the Party’s processes because she was a political ally of the leadership, NEC members and had support from MPs’.”

Our members will be expected to be grateful. Instead, they’ll be angry it took so long, and angry that many people will want to say this is ‘job done’ on antisemitism in the Party.”

On the anniversary of the Jewish community’s “Enough is Enough” protest in Parliament Square, this is a timely reminder that despite warm words, very little action has followed in truly addressing the scale and impact of antisemitism within the Labour Party.”

The Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Jewish Leadership Council and the Community Security Trust issued a joined statement following her expulsion, saying: “The hearing took far too long to happen. It made the right decision, but nobody wins in this latest ugly case of disreputable behaviour.”

Joe Glasman, Head of Political and Government Investigations at Campaign Against Antisemitism also welcomed the move, but said: “It comes as no surprise that the institutionally antisemitic Labour Party waited almost three years to finally expel Jackie Walker.”

“Labour’s decision to finally act now that the Commission is at the gate, is not a sign of change, but merely an act of naked self-preservation by a political party being brought face-to-face with its own racism.”

On the opening day of her hearing on Tuesday, Walker reportedly walked out, posting on Facebook that she had been “forced to withdraw” because “the panel due to pronounce on her case refused to allow her to make a short opening statement in her defence.”

She claimed she was refused “a few short moments to personally address the disciplinary panel to speak in my own defence”, adding that “all I have ever asked for is for equal treatment, due process and natural justice; it seems that this is too much to ask of the Labour Party.”

In response to claims made by a Walker yesterday, a Labour Party spokesperson said: “Jackie Walker has made a number of incorrect and misleading claims about this process. The procedures ensure due process and fair hearing, including the opportunity for individuals to fully state their case at their hearing. The process is the same for everyone and the order of the events is clearly explained to those involved in advance.”

The three-person disputes panel chaired the meeting which concluded on Wednesday.

Before the meeting, ‘Labour Against the Witchhunt’ hosted a rally in support of suspended Labour MP Chris Williamson and Walker – attended by former London Mayor Ken Livingstone, Walker and Jewish Voice for Labour member Graham Bash.

Since her suspension, Walker toured the country with a film about being “lynched” by Israel supporters.

Earlier this month, the Sunday Telegraph reported Walker’s film cites emails from party officials, revealing they were keen to minimise the complaints of antisemitic behaviour against her.

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