Against expectations, the required forty-nine delegates have supported a move to include the issue of veteran black activist Marc Wadsworth for debate at the Unite union’s conference taking place now in Brighton. The item has been accepted by the conference’s Standing Orders Committee onto the conference agenda.
Wadsworth was recently expelled by the Labour Party on disrepute charges after criticising MP Ruth Smeeth at the launch of the Chakrabarti Report in 2016. Smeeth claimed the criticism was antisemitic, but video of the exchange does not appear to support the claim. Wadsworth was not expelled for antisemitism, in spite of media reports and politicians’ statements to the contrary.
Last week the RMT rail union, which is supportive of but not affiliated to Labour, voted to support Wadsworth’s reinstatement at its own annual gathering. Wadsworth has received support from a considerable number of local Labour Party units and is crowdfunding to support a legal challenge to the ruling.
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