Christine Shawcroft has resigned from the NEC following controversy about an email she sent about a council candidate’s alleged Holocaust denial. Right-wing Labour MPs wrote a letter to Jeremy Corbyn demanding her removal – even though Corbyn has no power under Labour’s rules to do so – but Ms Shawcroft’s decision is the right thing for her and for the party.
Comedian Eddie Izzard, the highest loser in January’s election of three additional NEC members, will replace Ms Shawcroft – at least until September’s annual Conference, after which the victors in this summer’s election of all nine ‘CLP’ representatives will take over.
In a statement released jointly with the party, Ms Shawcroft said:
It has been a privilege to serve on the Labour Party National Executive Committee for the last nineteen years, and I was standing down in September in any event. I have, however, decided to resign with immediate effect.
It is clear that my continued membership of the NEC has become a distraction for the Party and an excuse for endless intrusive media harassment of myself, my family and friends.
I reaffirm my complete opposition to antisemitism and my abhorrence of Holocaust denial, and support all measures to tackle this within the Party. And I pledge my full energy to securing for our country the Labour government under Jeremy Corbyn that it so desperately needs.
Ms Shawcroft’s almost two decades of distinguished service service to the Labour Party should not be alloyed in any way by the events of the last couple of weeks and the SKWAWKBOX wishes her well.
Labour’s pro-Corbyn membership majority will have concerns about Izzard’s accession, as he was supported by the right-wing Labour First and Progress factions, in spite of campaigning as an independent.
However, these concerns are unfounded as recent developments among the union’s NEC delegates and a cooperative attitude on the part of a couple of ‘unlikely suspects’ mean that the left’s advantage will be far firmer than the 20-19 theoretical split.
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