Labour MPs in new bid to have Williamson suspended with motion at PLP meeting
search

Labour MPs in new bid to have Williamson suspended with motion at PLP meeting

More than sixty representatives sign initiative calling for the Derby North MP to have the whip withdrawn for 12 months

Chris Williamson MP
Chris Williamson MP

Labour MPs have launched a fresh bid to have Chris Williamson – the MP at the centre of an anti-Semistism row – suspended from the parliamentary party.

More than 60 MPs have signed a motion calling for the Derby North MP to have the whip withdrawn for 12 months under the standing orders of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP).

The motion calls for the case to be referred to the parliamentary committee – the influential backbench body which meets weekly with Jeremy Corbyn – at its next meeting on Wednesday.

If approved it would then go a vote of the full PLP at Westminster the following week.

The motion states: “Due to the exceptional circumstances in this case we are of the view that the allegation of bringing the Labour Party into disrepute made against Chris Williamson warrants an investigation by the parliamentary committee under this standing order and full consideration given to a recommendation of removal of the whip to the PLP.

“We therefore seek to ask the PLP to take action to suspend the whip from Chris Williamson for a period of a year.”

Signatories to the motion include Yvette Cooper, Dame Margaret Hodge, Wes Streeting, David Lammy and Diana Johnson.

There was widespread anger when Mr Williamson was readmitted to the party after a four-month suspension for having said it was “too apologetic” in the face of criticism over the way it dealt with cases of anti-Semitism.

Labour MP Jess Phillips has said Jeremy Corbyn must withdraw the whip from Chris Williamson – the MP at the centre of an anti-Semitism row – as a “matter of principle”.

Ms Phillips is one of more than 120 MPs and peers calling for the removal of Mr Williamson from the parliamentary party following his controversial readmission on Wednesday.

The Derby North MP was originally suspended after saying the party was “too apologetic” in the face of criticism of the way it dealt with cases of anti-Semitism.

However, Ms Phillips said he had been guilty of “a litany of offensive behaviour towards the Jewish community and those fighting anti-Semitism”.

She told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: “This is a matter of principle about racism, about the Labour Party being the party of equality, the party that is anti-racist. That reputation is slipping away from us every day.”

read more:
comments