Sat, 13 August 2022

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Labour officials throw out bid to let Chris Williamson back in to the party

Labour officials throw out bid to let Chris Williamson back in to the party
2 min read

Labour officials have rejected attempts to have Chris Williamson re-admitted to the party.

The Disputes Committee of the party's national executive committee ruled that the controversial MP should remain suspended while his case is considered by another panel.

A furious row erupted two weeks ago when a separate three-person panel decided that Mr Williamson - who was suspended in February amid allegations of anti-semitism - should be given a formal warning and allowed back in.

The decision sparked uproar, with more than 100 Labour MPs and peers demanding Jeremy Corbyn remove the Labour whip from him.

Dozens of party staff members also wrote to Labour general secretary Jennie Formby demanding she take action.

Labour MP Keith Vaz - who sat on the panel which lifted Mr Williamson's suspension - then raised concerns in a letter to Ms Formby about the way the case was handled, prompting her to re-impose his suspension and refer the case to the Disputes Committee.

Following their meeting on Tuesday, a Labour source: "The NEC Disputes Committee has taken the decision, in light of a letter from a panel member, to refer the cases discussed at that panel to a new panel, which will be convened as soon as possible in the usual way.

"The NEC has previously taken the decision that all anti-semitism cases should be considered by small panels advised by independent barristers, so, in order to comply with the changes to the procedures they previously agreed, the NEC committee had the option of either accepting the decisions made by the panel or refer them to a new panel.

"The committee decided not to accept them and to refer them to a new panel."

When he was suspended again, Mr Williamson tweeted: "They say a week is a long time in politics: it seems two days is even longer. I'm naturally concerned by the lack of due process and consistency in how my case is being handled. I've been a loyal Labour member for 43 years, and will do my utmost to fight for my membership."

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