WATCH: Barry Gardiner attacks 'appalling' decision to let Derek Hatton back into Labour

Posted On: 
20th February 2019

Barry Gardiner has launched an outspoken attack on Labour's "appalling" decision to allow Derek Hatton back into the party.

Barry Gardiner said it was "appalling" that the news confirming Derek Hatton's readmission came as the seven Labour MPs quit
Credit: 
PA Images

The Shadow International Trade Secretary revealed he had written to Labour general secretary Jennie Formby to make a formal complaint after the former left-wing firebrand's re-admission was confirmed on Monday.

On the same day, seven Labour MPs quit in protest at the party's position on Brexit and what they said was Jeremy Corbyn's failure to tackle anti-semitism by some of its members.

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Mr Hatton, the former deputy leader of Liverpool City Council, was expelled 34 years ago for being a member of the Militant faction.

The day after he was re-admitted to the party, a tweet he posted in 2012 emerged in which he said that Jewish people with any “humanity” should criticise Israel.

Speaking in a Commons debate on anti-semitism, Mr Gardiner said the decision to let Mr Hatton back into the Labour party was a “travesty”.

He said he was aware of Mr Hatton's tweet and added: "I wrote to the general secretary of our party, I lodged a formal complaint, I understand that action has since been taken in respect of the complaint and I am sure that I will be looking out to see precisely what appropriate action is taken in due course.

“I totally agree with you, I think it was a travesty. Many of us knew for some while that he had applied to re-join the party, but for the news of his readmission to come to public attention on the day, on the very day when some members of our party were forced out I think was appalling."

Speaking to the Mirror, Mr Hatton said: "During that 30-odd years that I was expelled, I never once stood against, supported, voted against any Labour candidate.

"It’s very topical it should be at the time when seven members resigned today because obviously there were times when it was very tempting to go a different way - during the Iraq War, loss of Clause IV, many things - but I believed then as I believe now the Labour Party is the political arm of the trade union movement.

"Whatever is happening, that’s the place to stay."

A Labour source told PoliticsHome they were not aware of Mr Hatton's tweet before re-admitting him, but that action would be taken over it.