Chris Williamson rapped by Labour after booking Commons room for anti-semitism row Jackie Walker

Posted On: 
26th February 2019

A controversial Labour MP has been rapped by party bosses for hosting a film in Parliament about an activist accused of anti-semitism.

Chris Williamson is a controversial figure among Labour MPs.
PA Images

Chris Williamson reserved committee room 12 on Monday evening for a screening of "Witchhunt", an hour-long documentary about Jackie Walker.

Ms Walker was suspended by Labour in 2016 for claiming it would "be wonderful if Holocaust day was open to all people who experienced holocaust".

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The former vice-chair of Momentum had earlier caused outrage by claiming Jewish people were "financiers of the sugar and slave trade".

Directed by John Pulman, promotional material for Witchhunt says it "goes behind the headlines to take a close look at the nature of the allegations of anti-semitism levelled against the Labour party and leading anti-racist activists, in particular the high-profile case of Jackie Walker".

The Jewish News revealed that Mr Williamson, the MP for Derby North and an ally of Jeremy Corbyn, had booked the room where it is due to be shown.

In a tweet, the Board of Deputies of British Jews said: "How much longer will Williamson get away with trolling the Jewish community?"

A Labour party spokesperson said: "It's completely inappropriate to book a room for an event about an individual who is suspended from the party and subject to ongoing disciplinary procedures. This falls below the standards we expect of MPs."

It is understood that Mr Williamson will be contacted by Labour chief whip Nick Brown and general secretary Jennie Formby warning him about his conduct and asking him to cancel the room booking immediately.

It is not the first time the MP, who was re-elected to Parliament at the 2017 election, has angered the Jewish community.

He sparked controversy in 2017 by insisting that claims Labour had a problem with anti-Jewish racism within its ranks were a "dirty lowdown trick" and being used for "political ends"

In December, he was forced to apologise after giving his support to a musician accused of anti-semitism and Holocaust denial.

But earlier this month, Mr Corbyn defended his colleague against accusations of anti-semitism.

He said: "Chris Williamson is a very good, very effective Labour MP. He’s a very strong anti-racist campaigner. He is not anti-semitic in any way."