Breaking News

Chris Williamson wins legal case against suspension

Chris Williamson giving a lift to one of his arch-critics

MP Chris Williamson has won his legal case against his re-suspension by the Labour Party. Williamson’s reinstatement was undone after uproar from critics of the party, but a court has ruled that the action was unlawful.

Yet Williamson remains suspended. The MP said:

The High Court has today judged that the Labour Party acted unlawfully in re-suspending me on 28 June, and “that there was no proper reason” for doing so.

I’m glad the ‘re-suspension’ has been quashed. However, I’m currently suspended.

It’s clear that my ‘re-suspension’ was motivated by media hysteria. The judge said: “it is not … difficult to infer that the true reason for the decision in this case was that [NEC] members … were influenced by the ferocity of the outcry following the June decision.”

In fact, the party’s decision was so unfair as to be unlawful. And that’s why my ‘re-suspension’ has been quashed, and all of the allegations presented in that suspension can no longer be pursued against me.

Yet a week prior to my court hearing – using every loophole in the book – the party bureaucracy issued me with a new suspension. based on a series of preposterous allegations that I answered fully and swiftly.
Due to this, despite winning today, the latest suspension stands.

Since his suspension, the MP has been the target of a ‘vicious’ and often sinister campaign involving physical threats and abuse toward venues hosting his events.

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    1. Across the bottom of the screen re Breaking News, the BBC is saying that:

      Chris Williamson loses High Court bid to be reinstated to Labour Party

      And then that is followed by

      Derby North MP was suspended from party over anti-Semitism claims

      Followed by:

      High Court says Labour Party acted unfairly reopening Williamson case

      1. In the fourth of a series of eight tweets (on his twitter account) Chris says the following:

        Yet a week prior to my court hearing – using every loophole in the book – the party issued me with a new suspension, based on a series of preposterous allegations that I answered fully and swiftly.

        Needless to say, whoever was responsible for re-suspending him (two days after being reinstated) KNEW that they had acted illegally and that they were going to lose the court case, so they cynically suspended him again on some other grounds, and of course the LEADING question IS: Why weren’t they – whatever they are – included in the grounds for initially suspending him back in February. The only OTHER possibility is that they’ve scraped together some stuff that he has supposedly said or done SINCE. Whatever the case, they are determined to keep him suspended so that he can’t contest a GE, which they know is obviously coming soon (not as a Labour MP anyway).

  1. As I understand it, Chris was suspended three times. The first re-suspension was deemed to be unlawful but the second re-suspension still stands. Let’s hope he can claim costs to fight the second re-suspension. One thing is certain, something is rotten in the Labour Party.

    1. “One thing is certain, something is rotten in the Labour Party.”

      Not kidding, same old same old.

      I am sorry to say this but I now believe many grass roots LP members and public are being taken for a ride of ‘hope and change’ based on Corbyn being the leader. The only thing that is changing is the rhetoric and design of a new ‘progressive’ mask of class based western finance Capital imperialism being promoted.

      It feels like a new, new Labour is emerging.

  2. UK MSM is indeed stating Williamson lost his case, that’s how dire reportage and truth are in our poxy country, that the Party, knowing it was in the wrong, re, re-suspended Williamson in September, says it all I’m afraid, essentially the Party machinery is corrupt and needs clearing out once and for all – fact remains, theres nothing democratic about our Party, and its trashing of natural justice is an absolute disgrace – still, the Rightists and Blairite factions are happy, the membership ain’t and if we open our gobs, we get booted out too.

  3. WTF . He’s cleared by the court but the party comes back in for a third attempt . I will not be a member of the labour party while this crap is still going on .

  4. This is not good news I don’t know why people are celebrating. The NEC ( Lansman? ) is obviously aiming to keep Chris out of the picture, re-suspending him in July and again suspending him in Sept ( incase this court case was lost? ) This stinks! What the allegation? Why was it kept quiet? Did Chris even know about it?

    1. Yes, Chris knew about it, there was a list of thirty-five trumped up accusations thrown at him and he answered them all!

      1. Jack, Allan, I’ve been trying to find the full judgement in the case, to see exactly what was said by Mr Justice Pepperall. If you have or can find any link I’d be grateful.
        I have earlier today read the chapter in ‘Bad News For Labour’ about the media handling of Labour’s adoption of the IHRA definition, It’s a thorough condemnation of the bias. So we shouldn’t be surprised by the MSM spin.
        Interestingly, the author finds that the Guardian’s bias was objectively even worse than that of the Sun (page 93) and that the BBC was significantly worse than even the Guardian (page 95ff).

    2. Oh they knew that they had acted illegally and that the case would be lost, but then they didn’t bank on Chris taking the matter to court when they re-suspended him (two days after reinstating him).

      Jack, do you have a link to the source of your info – ie the list of 35 accusations?

      1. Jack, do you have a link to the source of your info – ie the list of 35 accusations? Someone close to Chris told me.

      2. Oh, you’ve never mentioned before that you know someone close to Chris Jack. Anyway, I’ll give his office a call tomorrow just to verify it.

    3. Jack, did the person you know that’s close to Chris tell you what some of the 35 accusations were/are?

    4. As Maria has mentioned below the full transcript is on the Electronic Intifada blog. It’s 19 pages long. The first 17 are about whether the decision to change the original disciplinary tribunal’s decision was lawful. The judge found it was not.
      Notably, the Labour Party only called one witness to give evidence, Thomas Gardiner, Labour’s Director of Governance and Legal. One of the reasons the judge found for CW was that Gardiner wasn’t able to deny that the decision to re-suspend was due to the reaction.
      ” Mr Gardiner does not deny that the negative press coverage was a factor, he simply “does not understand this to be the case.”Further, he then defends the importance of paying attention to press coverage.”

      The final 2 pages are about the 2nd suspension, which was on 3rd September, just over a week before CW’s court hearing.
      This is what the Judgment says:-
      By a letter dated 3 September 2019, the Party’s Governance and Legal Unit notified Mr Williamson of fresh allegations against him. The allegations were said to include
      :“-Sending an email to a member of the public who had complained to you about your criticisms of Margaret Hodge MP that referred her to a video on YouTube. The video described Ms Hodge as ‘cheapening and exploiting the memory of Jewish suffering’; ‘trivialising the memory of the Holocaust’; and requesting that she ‘get the hell out of the Labour Party’; among other offensive personal statements about her.
      -Publicly legitimising or endorsing the misconduct of members or former members of the Party that the NEC has found, in its opinion, to be grossly detrimental or prejudicial to the Labour Party
      .-Undermining the Party’s ability to campaign effectively against antisemitism by publicly characterising the disciplinary processes of the Party in relation to cases of alleged racism as politically motivated and/or not genuine.”
      64.The letter noted that Mr Williamson was currently suspended pending determination of the earlier allegations by the NCC. He was further suspended in relation to the new allegations.The letter posed 31 written questions, which Mr Williamson answered on 5 September.
      .66.Ms McColgan [CW’s barrister] accepts that the September charges are new. She argues, however, that the case has been “cobbled together”in order to justify Mr Williamson’s continued suspension. Further, she points to the timing which, she submits, is suspicious:
      66.1 At 4.48pm on 2 September 2019, Mr Williamson’s lawyers sought a speedy hearing of this case.
      66.2 At 7.03pm that same evening, the Labour Party was considering a new case against Mr Williamson. At that point, Ms Formby was not herself persuaded of the need to suspend
      66.3 Officials argued the point and ultimately Ms Formby agreed that suspension was justified.
      66.4 On 3 September 2019, the new allegations were made.

      The judge decided that it was lawful to re-suspend, and was not convinced that the timing of the letter was suspicious.

      1. …so it’s ok for Hodge to call Cw a racist without being suspended, but referring to a video made by someone else which criticises Hodge is ‘grossly detrimental to the Party’.
        And the rest of the allegations are simply about CW disagreeing with other disciplinary decisions.
        This is utterly appalling behaviour by the LP.

  5. Yes, a rather hollow victory compared to the full one we were hoping for…

  6. It would appear that this case has the finger prints of Mark Regev and Iain McNicol all over it!

  7. Who is the party bureaucracy
    This is being done in our name and at our expense, has there been a response from party
    More evidence of spineless and gutless individuals not standing up to Blairites,
    When will we see action against vexatious claims of AS bringing party into disrepute

    1. Perhaps when that rebuttal documentary to the Panorama A/S edition comes out. I hope they’ve reached the crowdfund target…

      Anyone know?

    2. Doug, it’s sad to say under the current circumstances but we need a new ‘head of beaurocracy’ aka Gen Sec.

      1. JackT
        Can we agree CW was never accused of AS, like too many others the charge was BPID
        Your a fucking anti semite and a racist
        Whatever happened to that charming individual
        Spineless and gutless

      2. Doug please expand upon your silly comment with a little evidence to support your vile accusations.

      3. I think Doug is terminally confused.

        ‘Bringing the Party Into Disrepute’ is the catch-all fakery used as a fall-back in situations when even a moron could show that allegations of ‘antisemitism’ won’t stick.

        In fact, its use is generally confirmation by the mafia that any original ‘antisemitism’ allegations are fake (See Jackie Walker, Marc Wadsworth et al.)

        Basically, the term is at the heart of current corruption in the NCC disciplinary process.

    3. The Labour Party hired a QC and a junior Barrister – I would guess at least £30,000 between them,quite apart from the solicitors fees.

  8. Since we foolishly gave into pressure from those such as Jon Lansman and Len McCluskey to adopt the IHRA definition, every Labour member who supports the Palestinians is in danger of suffering the same fate as Chris Williamson.

    1. Yeah Jack, but Chris wasn’t suspended over anything he said about Israel, and so the IHRA definition had nothing whatsoever to do with him being suspended, unless you’re implying that such was included in the new batch of charges (a week before the Court hearing).

      Anyway, it makes absolutely no difference whatsoever what Jon Lansman or Len McCluskey said or did – because the LP was FORCED to adopt the definition under the unremitting pressure from the MSM and the Jewish newspapers over a period of weeks, and on a daily basis. Would you like me to post a few dozen examples out of the hundreds of articles posted during those weeks, with all the usual suspects condemning JC and the LP until they DID finally adopt it?

      1. I’d love you to post a few dozen examples (if you have them, of course) of the “evidence” you have that I’m a shill. If you’re going to defame me on here (comments passim, readers), you’d better put up or shut up. Or are you a coward?

        Come on. The popcorn’s waiting…

      2. Allan Howard. The LP could simply have refused to adopt the IHRA trap designed to prevent criticism of the racist occupiers of Palestine. The LP gets criticism every day from the right wing MSM but it doesn’t roll over, it refutes them wherever it can get its voice heard, but this doesn’t suit your ‘White Flag’ approach.

      3. Right, so on the ONE hand the LP refutes the smears and allegations every day, and on the OTHER hand it appeases the smearers. You can’t have it BOTH ways Jack, it’s either ONE or the OTHER.

        You obviously didn’t think that one through properly did you!

        I wonder how many tims – if i were to check back over a few weeks timfrom – I would find that you AND Jack have posted (in response to someone’s .comment) within ten minutes or so of each-other to say something detrimental! Anyone would think you were working together, or that maybe you’re even just the same shill using two – and perhaps even more! – user-names/personas!!!

      4. Or maybe you’re just a deranged fantasist.

        Show us some proper evidence, not mere coincidences. Put up or shut up, you sad man. As if.

        I have no particular regard for Jack T, btw. If you’d done your research, you’d know that.

      5. And if it were THAT ‘simple’ Jack, then there must have been a very good reason why they DIDN’T! So what do you think THAT was?

        And could you give me a few examples of the LP refuting the smears and false allegations every day, and tell me where they post them.

        Apart from the Panorama program/stitch-up (and one or two other things like Hodge’s 200 complaints of A/S which turned out to only involve 20 LP members, albeit not covered by the MSM of course), I don’t recall the LP responding to any allegations specifically, except to say the standard: ‘The Labour Party abhors anti-semitism and will do all we can to root it out of the party’, or words to that effect.

        But why do you keep pretending that if and when someone counters the false and malicious claims, the MSM doesn’t respond with a vengeance, when THAT is EXACTLY what they do, and Chris Williamson and Pete Willsman are two perfect examples. Talking of which, could you provide links to how the LP responded in THESE two instances and refuted the ‘criticisms’ of them.

        No, thought not! You just make it up as you go along, don’t you Jack!!

      6. As Justin Schlosberg points out in Chapter 4 of Bad News For Labour:

        “In contrast to other contexts, the antisemitism issue by its very nature inhibits the development of a counter-narrative. This is because much of the discursive framing serves to pre-emptively delegitimise any defensive response as ‘part of the problem’”.

        In other words, the smearers/MSM just double down if the LP tries to fight back, and it is of course for THAT reason that they rarely do, and has nothing whatsoever to do with ‘appeasing’ the smearers/MSM.

      7. Allan – I think you need to get your sightline above this immersion in articles soaked in the filth of the MSM.

        “the LP was FORCED to adopt the definition under the unremitting pressure from the MSM”

        There was no “force” entailed. It was a choice. It was counterproductive. It was wrong. Ultimately it was cowardice.

        But above all – it was pointless and against all that the Party should stand for, making it complicit with lies and distortion and the persecution of Palestinians.

  9. It would be useful to know who on the NEC continues with making these false charges , there is imo rapidly approaching a point where all creditability of the NEC , as a just and trustworthy arbitrator , is lost.
    I for one will be writing to Jenny Formby to politely ask fro some sort of explanation but doubt I’ll get an answer .
    This farce has severely dented , to the point of cynicism , my belief that those on the NEC are the way forward .
    I hope Chris continues unabashed and I’ll help fund him again to do so along with many others .
    Fuck you TWATSON and LANSMAN .

    1. Rob…momentum approved candidates on the NEC….we demand an answer from our so called left approved candidates…they hide behind rules,but it didn’t stop tom watson leaking like a seive?

  10. Need this adverse news just before a GE , like a hole in the head !!
    Labour, get your act together ffs !!!

  11. I wouldn’t tolerate shit like this from god or devil, much less a bunch of mewling fucking pen pushers.
    Tomorrow my standing order stops.
    My big, dirty old van is by sheer coincidence empty today for the first time in years.
    Anyone from Preston area up for picketing Southside, need a free lift and willing to put up with very basic transport? Supply your own mattresses/cushions, take turns riding up front.
    I have paint and brushes enough to go around.
    If I could surround the fuckers on my own I would.

    1. David – I reckon you express well the anger that many of us feel.

      I too find it increasingly difficult to support a Party that has such a corrupt bureaucracy running riot at its centre. None of us pay subs to support a load of dishonest, viscious tossers in hoc to a sectarian lobby.

      The current evidence of ineptitude on the one hand and sheer corruption on the other gives me very little hope of getting an act together for a GE.

      I note Ella Rose remains untouched by any sanctions, despite filmed evidence of transgression.

    2. David I salute your anger,and I admire your direct action,but remember being a member of the Labour party can seriously damage your health and wallet….240 miles down the M6on a Friday afternoon is not a trip for anyone.. We will get the!them,but its going to be the younger generation that stop the farce.I feel so desperately sorry for Chris Williamson and his family who are threatened by Chris loosing a good job because he actually cared..

  12. Can the labour party at the top grow a little integrity .Using my subs for a personal vendetta is not exceptable

    1. I would hardly describe them – whoever they ARE – as being at ‘the top’ Liz. They are well and truely in the sewer!

  13. One unspoken corollary of this on-going, shambolic messing with the Party is that there are a lot of overt double-fingered salutes to Corbyn (and, by implication, the membership) going on at its heart.

    Such doesn’t bode well.


    Chris Williamson MP #GTTO
    ‏Verified account @DerbyChrisW
    I know there’s been some confusion about the result of my court case, which ruled that my re-suspension from the Labour Party in June was unlawful.
    In this video, I want to speak to you directly, to outline my case from the outset, so you can understand what has been happening.
    We Shall Overcome
    3:56 PM – 10 Oct 2019

  15. We go into an election campaign with the judiciary deciding on the fate of our shambolic democracy and now the lack of democracy inside the Labour party.What a system.. My membership funds being thrown away to give to lawyers to nail the best mp we have got.Chris Williamson in essence won today…..but the question is once again who runs Labour

    1. but the question is once again who runs Labour

      Don’t you remember being told that we are a member led party. 😏

  16. The Labour party forum FB site with over 40K + members is censoring this case. They will not even allow the word witchhunt. It does my head in

  17. Those interested in what the judge actually said can find a full copy (all 19 pages) of the judgement here .

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