Corbyn ally under fire for claiming Labour 'too apologetic' over antisemitism

Chris Williamson

The Labour MP has been widely criticised for his comments. Image: PA

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Chris Williamson has come under fire after saying his party had been "too apologetic" over alleged antisemitism.

The Labour MP for Derby North made the comments during a meeting hosted by grassroots group Momentum, adding that Labour's response to antisemitism complaints had contributed to the party being "demonised".

In the clip was published by the Yorkshire Post, Williamson went on to say he had celebrated the resignation of former Labour MP Joan Ryan, who defected to join the Independent Group last week.



Jewish Independent Group member Luciana Berger was quick to condemn Williamson's comments, writing on Twitter: "This is what I have left behind. It's toxic. Our country deserves so much better. #ChangePolitics".

Meanwhile, Cardiff South MP Stephen Doughty tweeted: "This conduct is unacceptable and has no place in our party.

"I have made clear to both the leader's office and our whips that I expect urgent action to be taken."

Deputy Labour leader Tom Watson described Mr Williamson's behaviour as "deliberately inflammatory".

In the video, recorded at the meeting in Sheffield, Mr Williamson said: "The party that has done more to stand up to racism is now being demonised as a racist, bigoted party.



"I have got to say I think our party's response has been partly responsible for that because in my opinion ... we have backed off on too much, we have given too much ground, we have been too apologetic."

Williamson's comments came a day after fellow Corbyn ally, Momentum chair Jon Lansman, admitted that there was a "major problem" with antisemitism within the Labour Party.

The Derby North MP recently came under fire for booking a room in Parliament for a screening of a film about antisemitism and activist Jackie Walker, who was suspended by the Labour Party over allegedly antisemitic comments in 2016.