Labour MP: Our party ‘can’t have a hierarchy of racism’

Labour MP: Our party ‘can’t have a hierarchy of racism’

Rosie Duffield said the readmission was 'shameful'

Thursday, June 27, 2019

A Labour MP has said that the party “can’t have a hierarchy of racism” following Chris Williamson readmission depite allegations of antisemitism. 

Rosie Duffield is one of 118 Labour politicians who have signed an open letter condemning the decision to lift Mr Williamson's suspension.

She told talkRADIO’s Eamonn Holmes: “I am an affiliate of the Jewish Labour movement and I need to be true to my values. 

“These are not Labour values. We can’t have a hierarchy of racism - saying some racism is okay and some isn’t. It is very much about Labour values.”

Mr Williamson - a prominent ally of Jeremy Corbyn - was suspended in February following his claim the party had been "too apologetic" in response to criticism over its handling of antisemitism allegations.

The MP was also filmed saying he had celebrated the resignation of MP Joan Ryan, who quit Labour in protest over the handling of antisemitism and bullying complaints.

Following a hearing of a National Executive Committee (NEC) antisemitism panel, he was issued with a formal warning but allowed back into the party.

Labour parliamentarians have said the way the case had been handled raised questions over the fairness of the process.

They said the panel had ignored a recommendation Mr Williamson should be referred to the National Constitutional Committee for action.

They also said that the composition of the panel had been changed at short notice in a way that seemed "highly irregular".

Ms Duffield described the decision as “shameful” and called for a full investigation “overseen by independent adjudicators”. 

 When asked about what she would say to Mr Williamson, the MP for Canterbury said: “We don’t tend to talk. I don’t think I have ever had a conversation with him. 

“I don’t think I’ve got much to say to him, if I am honest with you.”

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