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November 6, 2019 12:38 pm

UK Jewish Groups Say Decision to Block Labour MP Accused of Antisemitism From Running for Election Is ‘Not Enough’

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

UK Labour MP Chris Williamson (left) takes to the stage with party leader Jeremy Corbyn. Photo: Reuters / Hannah McKay.

Top UK Jewish groups are demanding the Labour party expel a far-left member after he was prevented from running for a seat in the upcoming parliamentary elections.

Chris Williamson, who has called accusations of antisemitism against Labour and its leader Jeremy Corbyn “proxy wars and bulls**t,” “a dirty, lowdown trick,” “positively sinister,” and a “weaponization of antisemitism for political ends,” was blocked on Wednesday from running in Britain’s December elections by the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC).

In February, Williamson was suspended from Labour for his inflammatory comments, before being readmitted in June and resuspended shortly after. He was suspended for a third time in September.

President Marie van der Zyl of the Board of Deputies of British Jews said of the news, “The NEC ruling to bar Chris Williamson MP from standing again in Derby North is the correct one. However, this is not enough.”

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“Labour’s leadership must now stop dragging their feet and act immediately to expel from the party this disgraced politician who has baited the Jewish community for far too long,” she said.

Fiona Sharpe, spokesperson for the Labour Against Antisemitism organization, sounded a similar note, saying, “The decision of Labour’s NEC ruling body not to allow Chris Williamson to stand as the Labour candidate for Derby North is too late in coming and totally inadequate.”

“Mr. Williamson should have been expelled from the Labour party years ago, when his views first started appearing in public,” she asserted.

“Instead the Labour party appeared to drag its feet and, in our opinion, failed to take the appropriate action — an appalling demonstration of the alleged institutional racism now being investigated by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission,” she added, referring to an investigation of Labour by Britain’s top human rights body.

“Acting at the eleventh hour in this haphazard way just appears to show that the Labour party can’t be trusted to protect the minority communities it purports to stand up for,” Sharpe concluded.

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