The Labour Representation Committee (LRC) welcomed the decision to readmit Chris Williamson to the Labour Party on June 26 following the decision of an NEC disciplinary panel. We did not think he should have been suspended in the first place. The LRC does not regard Chris Williamson's comments at the Sheffield meeting to be antisemitic.
But no sooner had we caught our breath than a major campaign, spearheaded by Tom Watson was launched to get the decision overturned. The panel had been properly constituted, advised by independent legal counsel, with powers delegated to it by the National Executive Committee.
We condemned this move and the outrageous demand that Jeremy Corbyn intervene to reverse the decision. Members of the PLP and the Lords apparently have the right to intervene in disciplinary cases that other party bodies do not!
The decision to refer Williamson’s case back to the full NEC meeting on July 9 is as far as we know unique. It follows unacceptable interference through partisan political lobbying in the processes the party has been struggling to make faster, more robust and more effective. It amounts to a violation of the natural justice that members have a right to expect.
The LRC, calls upon the Labour Party NEC, meeting on July 9, to reject such interference and to uphold the decision of the June 26 panel lifting Chris Williamson’s suspension.
We stand in solidarity with Chris Williamson as a Labour Member of Parliament, a Labour Party activist loyal to its elected leader, and as an individual facing an onslaught of spurious attacks.
We support the call for a lobby of the NEC meeting on 9th June and strongly encourage all those who support Chris Williamson, Jeremy Corbyn and our Labour values to attend and make their voices heard.