A local Momentum group has withdrawn support for an event featuring suspended Labour MP Chris Williamson.
Williamson was expected to meet local members of the Jeremy Corbyn-supporting group in Harlow at 7.30pm at the Essex Skipper pub and discuss austerity and monetary policy, as first reported by Your Harlow.
However, after complaints from Local Conservative MP Robert Halfon and communal figures the left-wing group has withdrawn its support.
Taking to Facebook, Momentum Harlow wrote: “In light of discussions with our Labour and Momentum comrades over the last few days, and in the interests of party unity, Harlow Momentum has decided to withdraw its support for the planned anti-austerity event with Chris Williamson on June 7th. This follows a democratic vote at our meeting last night (3rd June).”
“We fully support Jennie Formby and Jeremy Corbyn’s efforts to reform and improve the Party’s processes, and will respect those efforts as the suspension and investigation run their course.”
“It was categorically not our intention to cause offence, rather to draw attention to important issues around the never-ending austerity that has impacted the lives of so many.”
In a statement, Harlow Labour Party said the event had been organised by a “very small number of individuals” without the branch’s approval.
“We understand that the organisation of this event may have caused concern and alarm among the Jewish community in Harlow and more widely,” the group said.
“However, this event was organised by a small group of individuals without the endorsement or authority of the Harlow Labour Party.
“We do not support or endorse Chris Williamson’s stance on antisemitism and condemn the comments that led to his suspension from the Party.”
After the event came to light, Halfon said: “It is incredibly sad that Harlow Momentum, of which the Labour Parliamentary Candidate is a member, have invited such a controversial figure to Harlow.
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.