MP Chris Williamson loses bid to be reinstated to Labour

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MP Chris Williamson loses bid to be reinstated to Labour

Derby North MP who said Labour had been 'too apologetic' in response to criticism over its handling of antisemitism found out his fate today

Chris Williamson
Chris Williamson

Suspended MP Chris Williamson has lost his bid to be reinstated to Labour after he was suspended over allegations of antisemitism.

Williamson was first suspended in February over comments about Labour’s handling of antisemitism complaints and readmitted with a formal warning in June.

The decision, which followed a hearing of a National Executive Committee antisemitism panel, sparked outrage from MPs, peers and Jewish groups.

Williamson was suspended again days later after a second panel reviewed the decision to reinstate him. Labour also imposed a separate suspension on September 3 over additional allegations of misconduct.

Justice Pepperall ruled on Thursday that “the Labour Party acted unfairly in that there was no proper reason for reopening the case against Mr Williamson”.

However, the judge found that there was “nothing in the new allegations, the timing of the letter of 3 September or the decision to suspend that entitles me to take the view upon the papers that the Labour Party is acting either unfairly or other than in good faith”.

He added: “I therefore refuse relief in respect of Mr Williamson’s recent re-suspension. The new disciplinary case must run its course.”

The MP took to Twitter to react to the court’s verdict on Thursday, writing: “I know this will be a bitter disappointment to everyone who has supported me in this case.

“This is a damning indictment of our party’s internal disciplinary procedures, which require a total overhaul – towards a fairer, more independent and more democratic system. My suspension must now be lifted.”

A Labour Party spokesperson said: “The court has upheld Chris Williamson’s suspension from the Party and has said his disciplinary case must run its course.”

Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl welcomed the High Court’s rejection of Williamson’s bid for reinstatement but called for his expulsion “without any further delay.”

The Jewish Labour Movement echoed calls for Williamson’s expulsion, urging Labour to “make it clear that Chris Williamson has no place” in its ranks.

“We need a truly independent disciplinary process, not one that the courts can make a mockery of,” the group added.

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