- Marc Wadsworth expelled from the Labour Party this morning
- charge was of bringing the party into disrepute, not of antisemitism
- video evidence suggests even that charge was tenuous at best
- media and Labour right likely to ignore inconvenient detail to spin this against the Labour Party
- restraint on the part of Labour members and supporters is essential
Labour equality activist Marc Wadsworth has been expelled from the Labour Party by Labour’s National Constitutional Committee.
This will be spun by the Labour right and by the ‘MSM’ as an antisemitism issue, but Mr Wadsworth was not charged with antisemitism but with bringing the party into disrepute.
There is little evidence for a disrepute charge in the video of the incident, which is available for anyone to see – and evidence for antisemitism is even more tenuous, as Mr Wadsworth was describing a handover of a document that nobody seems to contest actually happened – and he has stated that he did not know Ruth Smeeth was Jewish, which again no one appears to contest.
An impassioned appeal for more black and Asian participation in the party, which is the main thrust of his speech at the Chakrabarti Report launch, cannot sensibly be said to be bringing the party into disrepute:
It’s highly likely that Wadsworth will take the matter to the courts, given a decision that appears to ignore obvious evidence to the contrary.
Labour MP Chris Williamson, who was one of a number of MPs to speak on Wadsworth’s behalf during the hearing, said of the decision:
I am astonished by the National Constitutional Committee’s (NCC) perverse determination of Marc Wadsworth’s case.
It flies in the face of the evidence that was presented and offends against the principles of natural justice.
The NCC’s decision has all the hallmarks of predetermination and tramples on the Labour Party’s record of standing up fairness.
I will therefore continue to stand four-square behind Marc and assist him in his efforts to clear his name, and his reputation as a veteran anti-racist campaigner, which have been besmirched by this absurd NCC ruling.
The mainstream media spin has already begun, although there are signs that at least some outlets are aware of the likely legal consequences for stating outright that Wadsworth was expelled for antisemitism, as this would clearly be defamatory. Instead, the claim is being implied.
It remains to be seen whether all outlets – and right-wing Labour MPs – will be as careful, but readers should be cautious as the attempts to paint this as an antisemitism case to the detriment of the Labour Party are inevitable with less than a week to the local elections, in spite of evidence and the nature of the disciplinary case.
The SKWAWKBOX calls on Labour members and supporters to exercise restraint in how this decision is discussed, on social media and elsewhere.
Tempers among Mr Wadsworth’s many supporters will unquestionably be running high, especially in view of the genuine disrepute many on the Labour right appear to bring on the party with impunity.
However, an unmeasured response will only be counterproductive – and any abusive language or behaviour will not only be wrong, but will also harm the party and lead to further suspensions and expulsions.
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