Labour suspends Chris Williamson over anti-semitism comments

Labour MP Chris Williamson suspended over anti-semitism comments

The MP for Derby North has been suspended from the Labour party pending an investigation. Image: Jack Taylor/Getty Images

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Chris Williamson has been suspended from Labour after accusing the party of being “too apologetic” over allegations of anti-semitism.

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.

A spokesperson for the party said: “Chris Williamson is suspended from the party, and therefore the whip, pending investigation.”

 

'Deeply regret' 

Williamson had been issued with a "notice of investigation for a pattern of behaviour", but a decision was later taken by the party's general secretary Jennie Formby to suspend him.

The MP has said he will work to "clear" his name. 

Williamson told the BBC: "I am going to clear my name within the party procedures. I think I've got a very strong case. There is no evidence against me in reality."

The MP issued an apology earlier on Wednesday saying he "deeply regrets" his choice of words. 

 

 

"I deeply regret, and apologise for, my recent choice of words when speaking about how the Labour party has responded to the ongoing fight against anti-semitism inside of our party.

"I was trying to stress how much the party has done to tackle anti-semitism."

Williamson had previously come under fire for booking a room in Parliament for a screening of a film about anti-semitism and activist Jackie Walker, who was suspended by the Labour Party over alleged anti-semitic comments in 2016.