Labour MPs Naz Shah, Chris Williamson and Clive Lewis must explain why they attended event organised by members suspended over antisemitism claims
Three Labour MPs, including the Shadow Treasury Minister, have attended an event in Westminster organised by suspended party members accused of antisemitism, the JC has reported.
The event was the launch of the Grassroots Black Left (GBL) group, aimed at revitalising black and ethnic minority participation in left wing politics, however the launch was organised by Labour Against the Witch Hunt, a group set up to protest what it says are false claims of antisemitism within the Labour party.
Labour Against the Witch Hunt has been going through its own internal identity crisis after members were expelled over antisemitism claims, leading to the establishment of a splinter group opposing what it called a witch hunt within Labour Against the Witch Hunt.
Labour MPs Naz Shah, Chris Williamson and Clive Lewis all attended the event, apparently happy to rub shoulders with Jackie Walker and Marc Wadsworth, both of whom are currently suspended from the Labour Party pending disciplinary hearings.
In an article written in The Morning Star, Deborah Hobson, a chair of GBL, wrote: “Black party members, including disproportionately Muslims, have faced false charges of antisemitism yet the Chakrabarti Report told us that this form of prejudice is not rife in our party.” She went on to claim: “Islamophobia and anti-black racism are much more prevalent but those twin evils have been ignored by Labour. We demand the party leadership publicly defend its supporters who have been purged.”
Another chair of GBL, Hassan Ahmed is reported to have said “Black party members, including GBL’s Marc Wadsworth and Jackie Walker, have faced suspensions in a witch hunt against Jeremy Corbyn supporters, but we remain firm in our support for the Labour leader and his progressive politics.”
Naz Shah and Chris Williamson are no strangers to controversy, both having been strongly criticised, Naz Shah for comments she admitted were antisemitic, and Chris Williamson for claiming that antisemitism allegations within the Party were “proxy wars and bulls***”.
Naz Shah, Chris Williamson and Clive Lewis must urgently explain why they felt comfortable attending and legitimising this event.