WILLIAMSON FOR LABOUR LEADER AND GEORGE GALLOWAY AS DEPUTY
Chris Williamson MP loses bid to be reinstated to Labour party after anti-semitism suspension
One suspension against Mr Williamson was ruled unlawful – but another one still stands meaning he is not currently a Labour MP
CHRIS WILLIAMSON REACTS AFTER LOSING HIGH COURT BID FOR LABOUR PARTY RETURN
Derby North MP Chris Williamson has lost his High Court bid to be reinstated to the Labour Party after he was suspended over a row around the party’s handling of of anti-Semitism complaints.
Mr Williamson has said the party must now reinstate him, after the Judge decided the party had acted unfairly in resuspending him, but ruled that the party’s discipline procedure must run its course.
He was suspended by the party in February after he claimed that Labour had been “too apologetic” in response to criticism of its handling of antisemitism allegations.
The Derby North MP was readmitted to Labour and issued with a formal warning following a hearing of Labour’s National Executive Committee antisemitism panel in June.
But he was suspended again in July after a second panel reviewed the decision to reinstate him and found it “cannot safely stand” after outrage from MPs and Jewish groups.
Labour also imposed a separate suspension on September 3 over additional allegations of misconduct.
At a hearing in September, Mr Williamson’s lawyers argued that his treatment had been “manifestly unfair” and asked the High Court to declare his suspension from the party was void.
Giving judgment on Thursday, Mr Justice Pepperall ruled that “the Labour Party acted unfairly in that there was no proper reason for reopening the case against Mr Williamson”.
However, the judge found that there was “nothing in the new allegations, the timing of the letter of 3 September or the decision to suspend that entitles me to take the view upon the papers that the Labour Party is acting either unfairly or other than in good faith”.
He added: “I therefore refuse relief in respect of Mr Williamson’s recent re-suspension.
“The new disciplinary case must run its course.”
The court ruled that it “should not lightly interfere in the Party’s decisions to investigate or to re-suspend” Mr Williamson, and “should not micro-manage the disciplinary process”.
A Labour Party spokesperson said: “The court has upheld Chris Williamson’s suspension from the Party and has said his disciplinary case must run its course.”
Mr Williamson welcomed his partial victory.
He tweeted: “I’m glad the ‘re-suspension’ has been quashed. However, I’m currently suspended.
“It’s clear that my ‘re-suspension’ was motivated by media hysteria.”
The court did not find that there was political intervention in the process against Mr Williamson.
His statement concluded: I know this will be a bitter disappointment to everyone who has supported me in this case.
“I’m outraged that membership subscriptions given by our loyal activists have been used to pay legal fees. I’m outraged that I’ve had to resort to legal means to achieve justice.
“This is a damning indictment of our party’s internal disciplinary procedures, which require a total overhaul – towards a fairer, more independent and more democratic system.
“My suspension must now be lifted.”
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