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Chris Williamson banned from standing as Labour candidate in general election

2 min read

Chris Williamson has been banned from standing for Labour at the general election.

He is one of three former Labour MPs informed on Wednesday that they will not be candidates for the party on 12 December.

The other two are Stephen Hepburn, who is currently suspended from the party, and Roger Godsiff, who was triggered for reselection by members in his Birmingham Hall Green constituency.

The decision was taken at a meeting of Labour's ruling national executive committee.

A party source said: "The NEC has decided to not endorse Chris Williamson, Stephen Hepburn and Roger Godsiff as candidates in the general election. Labour candidates will be selected in these three constituencies. 

"The Labour party rule book clearly states individuals who are suspended from the party are not eligible to be Labour candidates. The Labour Party is also clear that all Labour Parliamentary candidates must receive endorsement from the NEC in order to be confirmed as Labour candidates."

Mr Williamson, who regained his Derby North seat from the Conservatives in 2017, had the Labour whip withdrawn and his membership of the party suspended earlier his year over what officials described as a "pattern of behaviour" going back months.

He had triggered an outcry among Labour MPs when footage emerged of him telling a meeting of supporters that the party had been "too apologetic" about its handling of anti-semitism. 

The Jeremy Corbyn ally was briefly readmitted to the party in June - before being "re-suspended" within hours following fresh anger.

Mr Williamson then mounted an unsuccessful legal challenge to that move, with a crowd-funding campaign vowing to "overturn the unconstitutional decision to ‘resuspend’ me from the party I love".

Stephen Hepburn, who was MP for Jarrow, was suspended by Labour last month over allegations he sexually harassed a female party member on a night out in 2005.

Roger Godsiff was triggered after coming under fire for backing parents in his seat opposed to LGBT+ education for their children.

Meanwhile, a decision on the future of Keith Vaz, who was suspended from the Commons for six months after the Committee on Standards found he had offered to buy cocaine for two male escorts, has been deferred because he is ill.

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