Left-wing Labour MP Chris Williamson has suffered more than most from ‘thuggish’ Ian Austin’s bullying. He is less than devastated by the right-winger’s departure from the Labour Party
Labour MP Chris Williamson has plenty of experience of Ian Austin’s behaviour. Austin was famously described as ‘pathetic and thuggish’ and an ‘unpleasant bully’ for a Commons attack on his own party leader – but has also turned his short temper on the Derby North left-winger on more than one occasion.
Williamson was one of two MPs who suffered aggression from Austin in Westminster, earning Austin a formal reprimand from the Labour Party – but he also reported a ‘Mann-style’ attack by the Dudley North MP in 2017, when Austin tried to on the way to the Portcullis House building next door to Parliament.
So Williamson spoke from personal experience when he commented this morning on Austin’s decision to quit the Labour Party:
He is certainly no loss. His frequent ill-tempered outbursts were an embarrassment to the Labour Party.
His disdain for grassroots members was palpable as was his contempt for Labour’s progressive policy programme that secured the party’s biggest increase in vote share since 1945.
The truth is he fought the last election under false pretences, using the Labour brand to get re-elected.
Another positive thing about his departure is that Labour Party members in Dudley North can now select a candidate who will work with them to fight for Dudley, rather than fighting against them.”
For Austin to salvage any shred of credibility he must resign as an MP and fight a by-election in his Dudley North constituency, but in view of his obvious contempt for democracy over the last three and a half years I think he’s unlikely to do so.
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