Wadsworth expelled – the facts and how they’ll be spun by Labour’s opponents

  • 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

wadsworth

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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103 responses to “Wadsworth expelled – the facts and how they’ll be spun by Labour’s opponents

  1. Doesn’t this mean that Smeeth was being defamatory by making False allegations?
    Her very public accusations certainly did not help the Party’s reputation

    • However in view of the inevitable controversy that this decision will raise I do hope that the National Constitutional Committee will be publishing its verdict in full so that the members can be reassured that the NCC’s decision was justified

  2. If Marc Wandsworth has been to judged to have brought the party into disrepute because of his comment to Ruth Smeeth, then why hasn’t John Woodcock, the Cooperative Party MP, been expelled from the party for standing up in the House of Commons and calling the leader of the Labour Party a liar?

    Following this decision to expel Marc and the standard of justification it has set for expulsion I will now be making a formal complaint against John Woodcock and will be calling for his expulsion for bringing the party into disrepute.

    I call on fellow members to also lodge formal complaints against Mr Woodcock.

    • It would appear that any complaints against MP’s are forwarded to the whips office. In which case you would need to specify which rules apply, both in terms of the specific complaint and who deals with it.

      I would suggest anyone going down this road insist it be dealt with by the NEC via the NEC Chair.

  3. Was there any definition of the Disrepute allegations?
    Maybe, he hadn’t shaven, or he was dressed inappropriately, what was it, that got him expelled?
    A man who has fought against discrimination, practically all his life, then gets expelled for disrepute, is somewhat dubious to say the least.

  4. On his appeal, we of fair mindedness, might get to know the real reason for his dismissal?
    Or maybe not.
    Shurley this will be a mear bump and he will be reinstated and compensated for this injustice?

    • He did disrupt the launch of the Chakrabarti report by verbally attacking Ms Smeeth. Perhaps not the best time or place to do so as he took all the attention away from the report and onto false claims of anti-semitism.

  5. “restraint on the part of Labour members and supporters is essential”

    NO IT’S NOT!

    This decision is outrageous and there should be massive protest from the members that “nothing’s changed”. The right wing, including the Zionists are still getting away with trying to control the Labour Party in a way which undermines the members and our democracy.

    For goodness sake, when is it going to dawn on some in the Party that continually trying to placate the ‘right’ by sacrificing our most outspoken members is just playing into their hands, they will just come back for more until they get Jeremy Corbyn.

    We appear to have people at the top of the Party who are either complicit or like frightened rabbits confronted by a threat and instead of staying to fight, they run away. We the members are trudging the streets to get our councillors and Jeremy Corbyn elected whilst the ‘management’ are cutting the ground from under us, it’s cowardly and disgraceful.

    Chris Williamson must feel disgusted at some of the people around him who have failed to be counted.

      • It appears that the right of the party are fireproof. They can say and do what they please without any consequences. The left have to justify themselves at every tern.

        I am currently expelled pending a hearing. As a vocal Corbyn supporter which my CLP seem to dislike, I think I already know what the outcome will be. Perhaps the best way forward is to go straight to the courts.

    • Put it as it is, Jack!

      Of course it’s no time for showing restraint – THEY chose their course of action. It’s time to stamp these meddlesome loathsome creatures out, or be forever lumbered with them.

      Oh, and I suppose my choice of words will be pored over by the semitics – well I couldn’t give a f**k.

      They want it about them, fair enough, should make it about them.

    • I agree.

      Lest we forget, the evidence, arguments and judgement haven’t been made public, if they ever will be. Any possible appeal and possible reinstatement may come in the future but the personal humiliation and pain suffered will not be erased or healed.

      I am reminded of that quote “First, they came for…”

      The hounds are on the scent and even on the march (for once|). Elections are upcoming, main media opportunities abound and a pre election feast will be had…

    • Depends whether you want to do what the right-wingers are hoping – or do something that advances their aims less

  6. After all the RW Rebels have been doing for the past 2 yrs with their abuse, undermining Corbyn, false accusations, smears and lies they have never been charged with bringing the party into disrepute. Yet this decent man and hard working campaigner has been almost destroyed by RW MPs who are not fit to wipe Wadsworth’s boots. I don’t see the point of voting for NEC/NCC members who are not defending justice and are going along with the media and the rebels. I have decided to cancel my LP membership. However, I will continue support the LP and Corbyn and campaign

    • ‘dallo 100’ Thanks for your comment but please don’t cancel your membership, it’s exactly what the b*tards want and we can’t let them win.

    • Please I beg you, do not cancel your membership. I too feel like tearing up my card as I see Corbyn and McDonnell and Starmer and so on kow towing to these low lifes, but that is precisely what they want, to drive us out. Well, we are in the majority now for the first time in two generations, we will drive them out in the not too distant future. Keep on fighting.

  7. This is wrong …. just plain wrong !
    Perhaps thr NCC felt they had to do something and rather than pander to the Zionists MPs thought this was the next least worst decision.
    One rule for us and another for MPs then .If we can no longer rely on our institutions within the organisation to uphold fair and natural justice , we must take matters into our own hands and Deselect those MPs at CLP level
    I Agree with Internal Affairs we now need a tsunami of complaints against all those MPs who continue to undermine Labour and that means thise like Smeeth et al.

  8. So, who in Labour thought this week before the local elections was the best week to hold this hearing and announce the result?! I give up.

  9. “charge was of bringing the party into disrepute, not of antisemitism”
    Some people are now claiming the that he was found to have been antisemitic – Is there a definite statement anywhere as to what he was expelled for?

    • https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/activist-marc-wadsworth-expelled-labour-12435129

      A Labour Party Spokesperson said: “The National Constitutional Committee (NCC) of the Labour Party has found that two charges of a breach of the Labour Party’s rule 2.1.8 by Marc Wadsworth have been proven.

      “The NCC consequently determined that the sanction for this breach of Labour Party rules will be expulsion from membership.”
      Clause 2.1.8 of the Labour rule book states that “no member of the Party shall engage in conduct which in the opinion of the NEC is prejudicial, or in any act which in the opinion of the NEC is grossly detrimental to the Party”.

      The rule makes clear that this includes actions which “might reasonably be seen to demonstrate hostility or prejudice based on age; disability; gender reassignment or identity; marriage and civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief; sex; or sexual orientation”.

      These are stated to include incidents involving “racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia or otherwise racist language, sentiments, stereotypes or actions, sexual harassment, bullying or any form of intimidation towards another person on the basis of a protected characteristic”.

      • The Labour Party catch all equivalent of the military charge of Behavior Contrary to Good Order and Military Discipline that the army use when they’ve got bugger all evidence for anything else

      • It includes those actions, but says ‘not limited to’ – includes anything else considered detrimental to the party, too

      • Sorry to be pedantic here but you are referring to the 2018 rule book version, this did not come into force until Conference 2017. The conduct/act in question which was the subject of the charge took place in June 2016. This means the relevant rule was the 2016 version in the 2016 Rule Book. This also means the Codes of Conduct and the members pledge (I think this pledge is unlawful and worthless but that is another discussion) do not apply either. I may be wrong on when the Code of Conduct was passed by the NEC, so if someone knows the precise date feel free to correct me. Regardless even if they were in force they are no more than guidance as the NEC has power to amend the Rules to expand disciplinary offences and until the 2018 version of the rules these Codes were not binding on the NCC.

        The rules are in law based on contract. Membership of the Labour Party is based on contract. This means the Party must act within the terms of the contract and cannot terminate the contract unless it is justified by the contractual terms of the agreement (the Party rules). A contractual term cannot be altered and then applied retrospectively.

        Secondly the principles of natural justice apply to all disciplinary proceedings in an unincorporated association. This requires that fairness as implied by law, should pervade every aspect of the proceedings, whatever the wording of the rules of the association John v Rees [1970] Ch 345 (Ch) 397.

        One of the recognised principles of justice and human rights is ‘no punishment without law’ (Art 7 ECHR) the ECHR does not apply to private bodies but this is a principle that underpins the concept of the rule of law. It is based upon the notion that you cannot be held accountable for something that was not an offence at the time you committed the act. In contract law the requirement is one of mutual agreement but how can you agree to contractual terms that did not exist at the time you allegedly breached the contract?

        There is some clarifying information that is urgently required here. Did the NCC consider the charge under the 2016 version of Rule 2.I.8? or the 2018 version? If the decision was based on the 2018 rule then it is clearly going to be procedurally flawed and thus ultra vires on a Wednesbury basis (as applied to contract law see Evangelou v McNicol [2016] CoA). Marc should have been informed of the specific charge and rule under which he was being disciplined. If this was not done that in itself represents a breach of natural justice and potentially renders the decision ultra vires as well.

        If the correct rule was applied there is still the issue of the final part of 2.I.8 which states “The NCC shall not have regard to the mere holding or expression of beliefs and opinions.” it is difficult to see how the comments made by Marc could be interpreted as anything other than an expression of opinion. As the NCC is contractually barred from considering these in its determination if it did so then this would equally render the decision ultra vires.

        The only possible ground I could imagine for the NCC decision would be that in questioning Mrs Smeeth at the event Marc caused prejudice to the Party or brought it into gross disrepute. His behaviour from what I have seen (I caveat I was not there nor have seen a witness statement from a person who was there) does not appear to me to meet that standard. Again to refer to Evangelou v McNicol the CoA made it clear that in exercising a contractual discretion the remarks of Lord Justice Rix in Socimer International Bank Ltd v Standard Bank London Ltd [2008] EWCA Civ 116, [2008] Bus LR 1304, should be applied:

        “a decision-maker’s discretion will be limited, as a matter of necessary implication, by concepts of honesty, good faith, and genuineness, and the need for the absence of arbitrariness, capriciousness, perversity and irrationality. The concern is that the discretion should not be abused.”

        It seems to me that the considerable double standard that has been applied to the behaviour of various figures in the PLP to mention a few when compared to Marc’s conduct seem to fall quite comfortably inside the meaning of arbitrariness, capriciousness, perversity and irrationality.

        Sorry this is a bit long but as I see it this is an absurd and quite perverse decision by the NCC. My opinion is that Marc has a number of reasonably good options to take a legal challenge. If he does so and crowd funds it I will certainly donate what I can.

        What irritates me is this kind of nonsense is unnecessary and is quite likely now to end up with the Party having to expend a considerable amount of money on lawyer’s fees to try to defend an indefensible decision. Unfortunately vicarious liability does not exist in an unincorporated association so the individual NCC members cannot be held personally liable for costs as they are indemnified against Party funds.

        I would hope the planned appointment of a new Party Legal Director would bring about some improvements. I would suggest that the details of Marc’s case be put to any candidates at interview asking them to explain why it is a legally sound or an unsound decision. If any of them say it is a legally sound decision then show them the door. What we need is a robust Legal Director who will fight for the members not a Labour Party version of Michael Cohen (Trump’s Attorney).

      • Duncan Shipley Dalton – There is absolutely no need to apologise to me I was simply quoting a newspaper report. You might want to take a look at this it muddies the waters even more as to what actually went on at todays NCC hearing.

        http://www.labouragainstthewitchhunt.org/suspensions-and-expulsions/gbl-on-marc-wadsworths-expulsion/

        “Such is Labour’s confusion over what the party has adopted as its definition of anti-Semitism, the NCC had to call an adjournment during the hearing to seek legal advice on the matter. The panel then ruled the case against Wadsworth could be proven based on solely on the perception by some people that what he said at the launch of the Charkrabarti report on June 30 2016 was anti-Semitism.“

        I sincerely hope this ‘advice’ didn’t emanate from our new legal team.

    • He was expelled under 2.1.8 – conduct detrimental to the party. But that’s any conduct – a/s was not among the charges considered by the NCC at the hearing.

      • Which begs the question _ Why did a Labour Party spokesperson (according to quote by Daily Mirror) throw anti-Semitism into the mix.

      • It also begs the question as to why it is that compliants made against MP’s user 2.1.8 are being forwarded to the whips office rather than being dealt with by the NEC?

      • If that is accurate then it is utterly flawed. My concern at the change to rule 2.I.8 that went through at Conference 2018 was that it risked precisely this.

        Regardless though the 2018 rule is not the correct rule so it sounds as if the wrong rule was applied, hence wrong contractual term and that is a straight breach of contract. I am surprised Marc’s barrister didn’t object. Although it may be the bundle only quoted the 2018 version of the rules and unless counsel was also a Labour member they might not know the rule was changed from the 2016 version. Alternatively they did complain and the NCC just ignored it, sounds like another legal ground to challenge this decision to me.

  10. I a.m. gobsmacked. I don’t doubt that Ruth Smeeth has received online a/s abuse but she has continued (until the past couple of days when she apparently deleted her tweet) that Marc made a/s remarks to her. He didn’t – I watched it at the time, I’ve watched it since – he didn’t.

    This is an injustice and I trust the appeal to an actual court will force my party to reinstate him.

    However, I do take Steve’s point. Let’s not give the right-wing media any more rope to hang is with – especially less than one week before local elections.

  11. Any complaint against these MPs will just be ruled as antisemitic. It seems you cannot disagree with them because if you do, you are a racist. This is a dangerous path we are treading. I wonder now even if they could actually be deselected by a democratic vote? Because people will now have a genuine fear about raising legitimate concerns about any of these MPs.

    I agree wholeheartedly with every single word written by Len McCluskey recently, and so do most decent Labour supporters. I fear what they have managed to turn the Labour Party into – this would never have happened in the Labour Party of old, of which I was a member. It’s frankly quite disgusting what they are turning this party into.

  12. The Tory Party are ready to be toppled and what do Labour do ?
    Score a very public own goal. MSM will have a field day off of this.
    May must be punching the air in delight !

    Well done Labour – stupefyingly stupid. 😟

    • Exactly!

      If the local elections don’t go as well as planned everyone’ll know where to point the finger…And they’ll have the chutzpah to howl about ‘persecution’ even louder, then. :/

      • Then WHO is it, Skwawky?

        For a while it was mooted that nowt was being done under mcnicol’s watch – which was a massive gripe of complainant Jewish members, and an excuse used by the left.

        Well he’s gone, and who controls the NEC now?

        It positively reeks of pandering to the jewish minority, to me.

      • Who else? Of course the BOD are stirring the mix and Theresa May and IDS were grinning cheerleaders for Smeeth and Berger, but that was strictly by invitation of Party members. Johnathan Arkush is not a member of the NCC, not yet, at least not in person.

  13. Well why don’t they just hurry up and get shut of livingstone and walker now we already know the verdict?

    No use wasting party funds on paying them for doing bugger-all, eh. BoD/JLC?

  14. so there you have it , don’t you, as members, DARE to criticise any of the Zionist supporting MPS or by Christ we’ll have your guts for garters.
    Don’t you dare to tell truth to power and accuse us of working hand in hand with the right wing MSM to destroy Labour ( our only goal) .
    You lot just keep paying the subs and get out and canvas for us so that we can as Zionist MPS continue to allow and enable the State Of Israel to crush and destroy a race of people known as PALESTINE .
    Those MPs who supported this witch hunt against Wadsworth and now gunning for Walker and Livingstone MUST be shunned at Conf this year and held to account.If they just once bring our party into disrepute then EXPEL them , the precedence has now been set with this example .
    I look forward to many such MPS being brought before the NCC this year as I hope the membership now takes direct action .
    Oh and I expect Jess Phillips to be up in front of the NCC soon for stating she would ” stab Corbyn in the front as well as the back ” and don’t forget the incident where she told Dianne Abbott to “FUCK OFF “.
    Oh and I’ve just seen the proverbial flying pig !

  15. Just WTF must all the member’s who are people of colour must think right now fuck only knows

    • Rob, don’t you know there’s only ONE form of racism, and that’s antisemitism?

      And the BoD/JLC wanted Corbyn to agree to let THEM teach party members that…The f**king nerve.

      PS: Be careful with your ‘flying pig’ utterances or else they’ll have you as well… :O

  16. Info about crowd funding an appeal asap please. It does make you feel like tearing up your membership but I know that would be counter productive,however the thought of the smug,self satisfied conversations the likes of Streeting,Hodge and Woodcock are now having sickens me to my stomach. I hope the NCC read these posts and realise how betrayed people feel. A dark day for democracy.

  17. Could somebody point me in the direction of a site that lists the members of the NCC? I am having trouble finding anything on line, apart from the appointment of Peter Mason of the JLM, which does not inspire confidence.

  18. however the thought of the smug,self satisfied conversations the likes of Streeting,Hodge and Woodcock are now having sickens me to my stomach.

    100% THIS^^^

    Bunch o’ total pricks.

  19. why was’t Ian Austin expelled telling JC to shut up and sit dawn at PMQ time or woodcock and Phillips telling Diane Abbott to F/O now i would think that these three would have been brought up on charges of bringing the party into distribute why as a paid up labour member these haven’t been charged

  20. Hate to say this, but Marc’s intrusion into the launch of Chakrabti gave the RW press a field day, didn’t it? I know different standards apply to MP’s mouthing off, and it damn well should not do,but if he hadn’t gobbed off when he did a whole segment of this anti-semitism debate, including any weaponising of it, could and probably would have been shut down two years ago.

    And would it have hurt him to have made a fulsome apology in that time? Yes, regardless of the truth or otherwise of what he said, he could have acknowledged that publicly calling out Ruth Smeeth in person like that was unacceptable and expressed his deep regret for doing it.

    Just think for a moment, if anybody called you out personally & publicly like that for your views, regardless of your race, gender etc., how would you feel? Would you accept it happening at your local party meeting either to you or those you disagree with-and if the answer to that is no every time, then it might answer why Marc was considered to’ve brought the party into disrepute.

    And, simply to everyone who reads this, continue to do what we are always telling the blairites to do-direct YOUR anger at May & co and NOT at fellow party members. Tweet & retweet about the latest Amber Rudd revelation, the economic stats etc, not about the injustice here-remember too, Jeremy has very little control over the NCC’s composition and until Chakrabati is fully implemented, that is unlikely to change, end of.

    • “Hate to say this, but Marc’s intrusion into the launch of Chakrabti gave the RW press a field day, didn’t it?”

      A resounding NO! The person who gave the RW press a field day was unquestionably Ruth Smeeth.

      • Quite correct.

        It shouldn’t be allowed to be forgotten, neither. LIARS should not be allowed to prosper – and especially not at the expense of having decent members expelled.

      • I’d disagree-if Marc had said nothing, there would have been nothing for her to get upset about, would there?

        Or, if he’d simply said to Ruth I want to express black solidarity towards eradicating any anti-semitism she or Luciana had received, all would have applauded, they’d have had no choice.

      • I guess you’re perfectly entitled to ignore the video evidence, but it wasn’t Marc who flounced out of a televised meeting complete with faux waterworks. FFS Ruth Smeeth is an MP, if she felt aggrieved then she should have stood her ground and defended herself, preferably without the waterworks. If she is incapable of doing that then she shouldn’t be an MP

      • SteveH

        I’ve read it already thanks.

        Don’t get me wrong, this makes MY blood boil too, but again I stress:-however much I might dislike certain MP’s and their bloody self-righteous sense of entitlement and authority over us mere plebs, once anyone insults them publicly as Marc did, they are not only descending to their level of ‘debate’, they are going against the express wishes of Jeremy and his own example of a kinder gentler type of politics.

        I personally could not keep to that if I were in Jeremy’s position, but because he does, I’m again saying don’t play their divisive games-rail against May & co for now & meantime do everything you can to ensure when the next election comes, your local candidate is on the right, rather left, side of the fence, be it a sitting MP, a marginal, or an unlikely gain. Recruit more members, join up with like-minded new members etc.

      • So why all the ridicules distractions portraying Ruth Smeeth as some sort of victim.

  21. As this is the second time a black activist has been singled out for allegations of anti-semitism – Jackie Walker was hounded by the anti-Corbyn wing of the party – perhaps some of those involved in the accusations should be scrutinised for any anti-black sentiments they may have expressed in the past. Journalist Jonathan Cook raises this controversial topic on his blog.
    https://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2018-04-26/labour-anti-semitism-mps-lynch-mob/

    • I would encourage everyone to read this excellent blog by Jonathan Cook.

      • “this is the second time a black activist has been singled out for allegations of anti-semitism – Jackie Walker was hounded… ” No! Whereas there is no credible evidence of Marc Wadsworth having done or said anything anti-Semitic (as opposed to being confrontational at an inappropriate time), there *is* serious evidence of Jackie Walker promoting anti-Semitic tropes on several occasions. The two cases are not comparable in any meaningful sense.

      • Jim Denham – “there *is* serious evidence of Jackie Walker promoting anti-Semitic tropes on several occasions.”

        Odd then that you haven’t provided any ‘serious evidence’.

        Perhaps you’d care to correct this rather obvious omission.

    • All those MPs that, as a mob, came in to support Ruth Smeeth did nothing against the 2014 Tory immigration bill that has caused so much hurt and harm to the Windrush generation. Corbyn was only one of a handful in Labour who defied the whip, while those lot were busy appeasing Tory racism by abstaining. Great anti-racism credentials these Blairites have…

  22. V. Good and informative write-up, that. The three paragraphs that sum it up, for me….

    ‘Again unmentioned, Jews are being hounded out of the party on the ridiculous pretext that they are anti-semites – just ask Moshe Machover, Tony Greenstein, Jackie Walker (black and Jewish!), Glyn Secker, Cyril Chilson and others.

    The disturbing implication is that these are not “proper” Jews, that their voices not only don’t count but their arguments are dangerous and must be shunned. And further, that those who “consort” with them, as Corbyn has done, are contaminated and guilty by association.

    Ruth Smeeth is not a victim of the Labour party “anti-semitism crisis”, because that crisis does not exist. It is a political construct. There are doubtless examples of anti-semites and other racists who are members of the Labour party, as there are in all walks of life, but there is no crisis.’

  23. absolutely disgusting – MP cosies up to Tory media – then someone gets expelled for daring to question it. Ashamed to be a Labour member. just wish we had more MPs like Chris Williamson who fight for ordinary people not the big corporations

  24. ITV news just now:

    ‘Labour activist expelled for intimidating Jewish MP’

    Who briefs the producers/directors?? Obviously I don’t want to say there’s a ‘media conspiracy’…But it seems there’s a ‘media conspiracy’ afoot, here.

  25. Apparently, according to ITV news Corbyn’s office denied that they told Wadsworth that what he said ‘wasn’t antisemitic’.

    If that’s the case I’m done with the fucking lot of them…

  26. Sad news but Mark was niaive in my opinion personalising it and giving opponents perhaps what they were looking for?
    I just think if we get this radical transformative Labour government and the Neo-Liberal Capitalist Barbarians throw the kitchen sink & more at us, I just think the likes of Mark would be at our side.
    I will be voting for a Left Wing Democratic Socialist as a Candidate to be a Labour MP to support JC to transform the UK (as an example to the World) and would seriously suggest Left Wing Democratic Socialists in 620 CLPs consider doing the same.
    Solidarity!

  27. GBL have posted a response to Marc’s expulsion. It illustrates how flimsy the case is against Marc

    http://www.labouragainstthewitchhunt.org/suspensions-and-expulsions/gbl-on-marc-wadsworths-expulsion/
    “Such is Labour’s confusion over what the party has adopted as its definition of anti-Semitism, the NCC had to call an adjournment during the hearing to seek legal advice on the matter. The panel then ruled the case against Wadsworth could be proven based on solely on the perception by some people that what he said at the launch of the Charkrabarti report on June 30 2016 was anti-Semitism.

      • Apologies if anyone’s linked to this Guardian article recently – memory’s not what it was and I seriously can’t be bothered trawling through a month of replies.
        If there’s a search function here I’ve never found it and Google’s getting to be a pita with what it thinks I ought to be interested in.
        What’s happened already in this sorry saga – and particularly changes being demanded – fail the test of natural justice if no other of the principles of English law, or what’s left of it.

        https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2007/feb/08/matthewyglesias

      • David – “If there’s a search function here I’ve never found it ”

        On a PC screen it is top left corner below the SKWAWKBOX logo and above the PayPal logo and on a mobile screen if you scroll down to just past the comments section you’ll again find it between the SKWAWKBOX and PayPal logo

      • SteveH, thanks for the heads-up, missed ‘search’ because I have to view Skwawkbox at 150% and so lose all but the central text – and I’d forgotten that.

        Thanks for the KL defence too, would take a point by point refutation with evidence I haven’t seen to convince me Ken wasn’t the victim there.

        Effectively infinite widening of the AS definition should be resisted with legal action I think – I was dimly aware of the attempt way before the ’07 article but didn’t see anything further on it.
        Coach & horses through the concept of natural justice to let the accuser’s feeling convict the accused – sadly also true in the sexual abuse drive to “believe the victim” – new approach definitely needed but not a switch to presumption of guilt.
        Thanks again!

  28. CRIED I OUR WINDRUSH CITIZENS.
    EXPELLED BY THE MAY/RUDD PLAN.
    THEN A DAGGER IT STRUCK THE SOCIALIST HEART.
    ”WE’ EXPELLED A BLACK SOCIALIST MAN.

  29. Pingback: The Smeeth/Wadsworth dispute underlines why I still have a problem with ‘political correctness’ | TheCritique Archives·

  30. The campaigns against Wadsworth and Walker seem to suggest that it’s not a problem with anti semitism the labour party has, just good old fashioned racism.

  31. Yes brothers and sisters let’s focus on the local elections and many of us have been knocking on doors in the rain for JC and leafleting in the snow etc.
    LABOUR COUNCILS DESPITE 50% OF CUTS FROM THE TORY GOVT. HAVE HAD A DEFENSIVE SHEILD TO PROTECT THE MOST VULNERABLE, HELP LABOUR KEEP THIS DEFENSIVE SHIELD!
    I have been saying this on the doorstep, it is inclusive language and it has gone down well!
    Keep calm, and be rational plus draw on evidence, be disciplined but most importantly try to have WISDOM; it could see us through to a more exciting time than Labour’s 1945 victory!
    Solidarity!

  32. As a matter of interest, have you all read what Jeremy’s had to say on the subject of anti-semitism these past few weeks?

    As someone who has time after time correctly said-let’s wait for firm or more evidence-why do you think he has said he’s seen evidence that anti-semitism is more of a problem than envisaged at the time of Chakrabati and that there is evidence of newer and initially more subtle forms of it coming from the left?

    Do you really think he’s just saying that to pacify the ‘usual suspects’ or that he’s so afraid of them, or the PLP, or JLM or whoever, that he’s jumping to their commands?

    Or do you just think he might have seen enough evidence to convince him it needs sorting and pronto? Now, using Marc’s comments as an example, because he’s called out a Jewish MP as working hand-in-glove with the right-wing media, he’s invoked the trope that it’s all a Jewish/Media conspiracy, very probably initially without realizing it, but still has not apologized for that.

    Anymore than Ken Livingstone has publicly apologized for upsetting people without laying out some background as he did in his submission.

    So, where do you stand on this? I’m 66, I’ve been Labour all my life, and I’m white South London working-class. My dad was a Normandy veteran, btw.

    My parents were wonderful, but were shocking racists. I always prided myself I was completely without prejudice, but I’ve asked myself questions in the last few weeks, too.

    The reason-I wanted to make sure I wasn’t just paying lip service to racism and especially anti-semitism. And, if you look at recent political developments in France, Austria, Poland & Hungary, you’ll know why Jeremy is so concerned about extirpating it from our party.

    And that’s why I will continue to attack May & co and promote our excellent policies full-pelt before attacking ‘them’-I want ‘them’ to have nothing left that’s remotely legitimate with which to weaponize against Jeremy or our party.

    • “why do you think he has said he’s seen evidence that anti-semitism is more of a problem than envisaged at the time of Chakrabati and that there is evidence of newer and initially more subtle forms of it coming from the left?”

      Do you have a link for that or Is that just your interpretation of what he said ?

      • See his Twitter

        Letter to BOD dated 26 March-2nd para 2nd page

        Letter to Evening Standard 21(?)/4-6th para then paras 10-14.

        Apologies for the low-tech!!

    • Sorry Signor, I disagree, as Marc has stated he didn’t know she was Jewish .
      The only conspiracy here is of Labour MPs on the RW going shit or bust to oust Corbyn and deny the many working class people a true socialist Labour govt under Corbyn.
      “them” will absolutely find anything , no matter how careful you are with which to attack Corbyn , they just make it up as in this very case .
      “them ” are only concerned with one thing and that is the destruction of the socialist Labour party .
      Time for the gloves to come off , Corbyn and the left over the last 2 years has tired appeasement , offering the hand of friendship to unite the party ( Owen Smith in case ) each and every attempt has been undermined or rebuffed.
      It is time to stop wasting time with these MPs who will not accept Corbyn as the leader , CLPS need now to act and start de-selecting those who would jeopardise the next Labour Govt .We cannot rely on the still blairite infected Party mechanisms to administer fair and just verdicts , we , the membership must now take direct action ourselves.

      • Totally agree. If they can succeed in getting Marc Wadsworth expelled for dubious reasons, then they can do and will that to anyone else that stands in their way. This expulsion is quite disgusting and needs to be challenged.

        The longer it’s left to deal with these traitors, the more that this disruption will continue, the nearer it’ll be to a general election and the more damage it’ll do.

        Grab the nettle now before it’s too late. They’re not interested in compromise, so I don’t see why we should allow them any leeway to cause further disruption to any hope that the vulnerable and oppressed. They work for the Tories.

  33. It’s not Skwakbox’s role to tell Labour members what they can say and what not. Free speech. Not censorship or controlling of people. As soon as we put so called loyalty to a party above that to people we are in trouble. Personally there is no way I will vote Labour in the local elections to have Tory-like Labour councils in London demolishing Council estates and socially cleansing their residents or Sheffield Labour Council chopping down half the trees in Sheffield. Labour needs to sort this out (and the witchhunts too) and Skwakbox’s needs to encourage this to happen rather than show blind loyalty.

  34. Is there some hipocracy in the reporting here… in all cases but especially as Marc Wadsworth was not expelled for antisemitism, surely all the reporting of Ruth Smeeth (or for that matter any MP) as a “Jewish MP” is in itself antisemitism?

    (Not that hipocracy in the media surprises me of course)

  35. Sorry for a further comment but I will try to be shorter.

    For defamation it is not necessary to use the specific term antisemite/antisemitic. Defamation can take place if the words, pictures etc impute a defamatory innuendo.(see Thornton v Telegraph Media Group Ltd [2010] EWHC 1414 (QB) Tugendhat J for a definition of what is defamatory).

    Any comments that hint at antisemitism could potentially still amount to defamation if the meaning is understood. Marc should note the normal period of limitation for beginning a defamation action is 12 months.

    I am wary of defamation actions because it is generally uncertain and expensive but it is Marc’s choice and I know if someone accused me of being a racist or of being antisemitic I would be incredibly angry and offended and would want to defend my reputation from such an unfounded allegation.

    • ‘Duncan Shipley Dalton’ I especially agree with your last sentence, however the NCC appear to have been careful not to have found Marc Wadsworth guilty of anti-Semitism, instead, if I understand correctly, he was found guilty of ‘bringing the Party into disrepute’

      If that is the case, was it for interrupting? Was it for accusing Ruth Smeeth of being in league with the media? Or was it for accusing Jewish Ruth Smeeth of being in league with the media?

      Even if it was any of those things or something else which I’ve not covered, how on Earth did he bring ‘the Party’ into disrepute? Surely, even at worst, he brought himself into disrepute not the Party.

      On another note, it’s about time the Party ditched the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism as many are now doing, because apart from it being so vague as to be useless, some groups are are using the examples, which incidentally Labour hasn’t approved, to allege anti-Semitism against opponents. One of the examples given as an adjunct to the definition is:

      “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.”

      This would be laughable if it wasn’t so serious. OF COURSE Israel is a racist endeavour, it’s the very reason the Zionist terrorists stole Palestinian land and founded it. Even President Truman was astute enough to cross out the word ‘Jewish’ when asked to sign the document recognising Israel on behalf of the USA.

      • The way the rules are drafted in 2.I.8 everybody gets charged with either conduct that is prejudicial or acts which are grossly detrimental. There is an adjective ‘grossly’ so the standard needs to be an act that is ‘obviously or flagrantly’ detrimental. From the video in my opinion it is hard to see how Marc’s actions come up to that standard.

        The term grossly detrimental is a catch all. It is quite common in unincorporated associations. It allows discipline for most conduct on the basis the conduct causes detriment to the association. E.g. get drunk at an event, play grab ass you get charged with acts that are grossly detrimental. The test is really two stages 1. did you commit the acts in question on the balance of probability? 2. did those acts cause gross detriment to the Party on the balance of probability?

        Acting in a way that is AS could reasonably be seen as being grossly detrimental. In this case the NCC have been a bit opaque about the rationale behind the finding of bringing the Party into gross disrepute so it is not entirely clear what the reasoning was or the specific underlying acts. So there is certainly no definitive finding of antisemitism. (Probably because there wasn’t any.)

        The IHRA definition is not in the rules. The NEC adopted the one paragraph definition, not the whole thing so the pages of examples have not been approved by the NEC. Regardless the NEC has no legal power in the rules to supplement the disciplinary rules. It is only for conference to change the rules. The NEC under its general powers in chapter 1 Clause VIII 3(M) is able to:

        “M. to issue guidance, give rulings and bring forward rule changes to Party conference to ensure continued compliance with the Party’s legal and financial responsibilities, and to take
        action on the advice of the General Secretary to protect the Party from actions by organisations and individuals who fail to
        comply with, or fail to co-operate with the Party in meeting, such legislative requirements.”

        My interpretation is that the single part of the IHRA definition adopted by the NEC is no more than guidance. It is an advisory document but not formerly binding on the NCC. The other point is when this adoption happened, if it was post June 2016 then arguably it should not have been considered by the NCC as it was not in place at the time of the alleged act Marc committed. If it was considered as a rationale for the decision then I would see a potential challenge under the Wednesbury unreasonableness principles (see Evangelou v McNicol [2016] and Socimer International Bank Ltd v Standard Bank London Ltd [2008] EWCA Civ 116, [2008] Bus LR 1304).

        I believe there are multiple lines of legal challenge available. The key thing is to remember the Court won’t get into substituting its own discretion for the NCC’s discretion. Re-fighting the argument over the conduct is not likely to get very far unless you can show that the decision was at the level of irrationality in the legal sense. The way it works is a bit like judicial review so you have to go after the procedural issues not the content of the discretionary decision itself.

      • Duncan, from a judicial perspective, as you said,

        “The way it works is a bit like judicial review so you have to go after the procedural issues not the content of the discretionary decision itself”

        However, we are a member’s organisation and who polices the police? It is my bet that the members are not so much interested in the procedures but in the validity of the content in the explanation. i.e. the NCC should have to explain their decision to the members and if they cannot give a rational explanation, the decision should be reversed.

        In my opinion, this case typifies a problem which has developed over a number of years in the Labour Party – the lack of and disregard for democracy. For far too long decisions have been made and handed down from on high without any input from the members who have been treated as mere leaflet fodder by careerist MPs and officials.

        We the members are now demanding that we recover our Party.

    • Duncan ,in the light of the latest SB article re Chris Williamson and the ex Labour employee trying to link him to Anti-Semitisim do you feel Chris has a case to sue for defamation ?

  36. We all know that the true anti-Semites and enemies of Jewish people are the far right who, not coincidentally, are our mortal enemies too.

    Does anyone doubt that if it comes down to fighting in the streets we on the left will be standing with Jewish neighbours while we argue vehemently over Israel’s policies?

    We ought to know by now that the danger from each other is nothing compared to the very real danger to both of us from a far right reinvigorated and encouraged by our bickering.

    • You misunderstand the nature of the beast. Yes, if the fascists turn their attention back to Jewry, then we will be standing shoulder to shoulder with the likes of JVL and Jewdas and the rest of the Diaspora who regard Britain as their natural and only home. We will not however be arguing with the Zionists, because they will be busy elsewhere gleefully trying to persuade British Jews to emigrate to Israel.

  37. Pingback: ‘Staffer’ complaint v Williamson betrays huge ignorance of Labour rules – and an agenda | The SKWAWKBOX·

  38. Pingback: ‘Staffer’ complaint v Williamson betrays huge ignorance of Labour rules – and an agenda | RedZine·

  39. So does this “ruling” set a precedent so that all those right wing MPs can be easily expelled for “bringing the party into disrepute”? Or is the “disrepute” part dependent on what the media think? This whole thing reminds me of the way the Tories blamed labour for the financial crash? It stuck because labour policy was not to oppose this narrative, presumably, in the hope that it would go away?

    • It seems that a different process is applied to MP’s. The whips deal with it. This seems to me to break the rules. The PLP has its own rules and the whips can enforce those but on top of that each MP is a Party member and so subject to the Party rules as well. They are concurrent not mutually exclusive. There is no reason why a PLP member could not be charged under the 2.I.8 rule and dealt with by the NCC.

      In fact the failure to do so seems to be an arbitrary and this undermines the NCC. Thinking in terms of the principle of the rule of law the rules should be applied equally to all members regardless of position or status. The failure to do so based on an arbitrary distinction between members and members who are also in the PLP seems to undermine the principles of good faith, and genuineness, and the need for the absence of arbitrariness, capriciousness, perversity and irrationality in the exercise of any contractual discretion by the NEC or NCC.

      • This sounds logical, but is in fact a recipe for disaster. The MP is selected by the CLP and represents her constituents. The NEC and NCC have no place in that relationship. If they did have, what is to prevent Smeeth, or Streeting or whoever, just for lulz, accusing Corbyn or McDonnell or whoever. Given the current makeup of the NCC that could lead to their being thrown out of the Party just before the next election and consequently ineligible to stand as candidates. And if you think these right wing scrotes wouldn’t grab such a chance with both hands then you are beyond naive.

      • 2nd attempt at posting.

        Thanks for your excellent posts here, may I emphasise one point:
        You correctly say in your first post that the ryder in 2.I.8 under the 2016 Rule Book would also apply.
        Since the NCC clearly must have had regard to Mr. Wadsworth’s expressed opinion in reaching their decision they must surely have been operating under the 2018 Rule Book. This is because the ryder in the 2016 Rule Book would not allow the NCC to have regard to his expressed opinion as it does not contain the 2018 exception that mere expressed opinions can be looked at if they involve “prejudice towards any protected characteristic” which of course was the source of the complaint from Ms Smeeth,

        see the 2018 2.I.8. final wording below :
        ” The NCC shall not have regard to the mere holding or
        expression of beliefs and opinions except in any instance inconsistent with the Party’s aims and values, agreed codes of conduct, or involving prejudice towards any protected characteristic.”
        The 2016 Rule Book wording:
        “The NCC shall not have regard to the
        mere holding or expression of beliefs and opinions.”

        Since there is no suggestion that the NCC investigated whether the furore arising from this element of the Chakrabati report launch was due to Ms Smeeth’s reaction, the NCC surely cannot be placing the whole blame for this on Mr Wadsworth, or is this why they judge ( mistakenly imo) that he brought the party into disrepute.

        Are these judgements published?

        cheers

  40. Black Lives Matter. Maybe not to the 40 MPs who were party to the march against Marc Wadsworth yesterday. Perhaps they could march for disabled people , homeless, Grenfell Towers residents, people affected by the Windrush debacle etc. Dont they count. Plus note to Woodcock. I have no common ground with Amber Rudd at all so please do not speak for me. Yourself and yoour cronies may have . I dont.

  41. Hoping and praying Labour do well in the elections on Thursday. Jeremy Corbyn has endured so much for us. I have faith and belief in him. I will be urging everyone I know to vote Labour for Jeremy, Marc and all the MPs and staff who have supported him. Sorry if I sound foolish . When I think of people contemplating suicide because of this callous tory government I could cry. Note to Woodcock. I dont have common ground with any tory. You and your roniez may have may have, i dont.

  42. Kitty S. Jones has written an excellent hard hitting and very comprehensive analysis. It’s a long read but worth the effort because of the breadth of its coverage including extensive quotes from Marc Wadsworth detailing his perspective on this debacle.

    https://kittysjones.wordpress.com/2018/04/29/marginalisation-of-left-leaning-jewish-groups-demonstrates-political-exploitation-of-the-antisemitism-controversy-by-the-right-wing/
    “Ruth Smeeth is shown here, is surrounded by right wing journalist, Kevin Schofield, editor of Politics Home, (he used to work with the Sun), Richard Angell, bullying executive director of the moderate group Progress, who oppose Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, Senior Political Correspondent at The Telegraph, Kate McMann, and John Adrian Pienaar, who is currently Deputy Political Editor for BBC News, and presenter of Pienaar’s Politics on BBC Radio 5 Live. It is the right wing journalist Kevin Scofield who says clearly on the video that Marc Wadsworth’s comments constitute “antisemitism”. “

  43. Where were these Blairite MPs regarding the Immigration act of 2014?

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