Resolution carried at Sheffield Hallam CLP on February 28 2019, by approximately 40 votes to 1 with 0 abstentions:
This Constituency Labour Party notes with great concern the suspension of Chris Williamson MP for Derby North.
• Chris has been falsely accused of anti-Semitism. This is an excuse for Tom Watson and the anti-Corbyn wing of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) to demand his removal from the Party.
• We note with concern that the establishment media and the right wing of the PLP continue to assert that the Labour Party is institutionally anti-Semitic.
• The accusation of “institutional anti-Semitism” in the Labour Party is asserted as a fact, despite data released by the Party which show a 0.08% incidence of anti-Semitic behaviour by Party members over the last ten months.
• The allegation that Chris is downplaying anti-Semitism is totally unfounded. His comments, made at a Momentum meeting in Sheffield, were taken out of context in a deliberate attempt to ruin both the reputation of Chris Williamson MP and Jeremy Corbyn.
• Chris Williamson MP actually said: “The party that has done more to stand up to racism is now being demonised as a racist, bigoted party. I have got to say, I think our party’s response has been partly responsible for that because in my opinion… we’ve backed off far too much, we have given too much ground, we’ve been too apologetic… We’ve done more to address the scourge of anti-Semitism than any other party.”
• His comments are clearly neither anti-Semitic, nor denying the existence of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party (as in wider society). But he does quite rightly point to the fact that there has also been a political campaign to “weaponise” accusations of anti-Semitism.
• Chris is a target because he is one of the very few Labour MPs who have openly stood up to the witch-hunt of Corbyn supporters and because he has campaigned tirelessly for the much-needed democratisation of the party.
This Constituency Labour Party therefore agrees to:
• Write to Jennie Formby, the general secretary, and the National Executive Committee with a copy of this motion and demanding that Chris is reinstated immediately. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
• Write a letter of support to Chris Williamson MP (email@example.com)
Sheffield Labour Left last night voted unanimously to show solidarity with Chris Williamson against the witch hunt he is presently facing.
Sheffield Labour Left stands in full solidarity with Chris Williamson MP.
Any allegations that Chris is enabling or minimising anti-Semitism are not only unfounded, but part of a hostile and anti-democratic campaign. As Jeremy Corbyn recently said: “Chris Williamson is a very good, very effective Labour MP. He’s a very strong anti-racist campaigner. He is not anti-Semitic.”
Of course, allegations of anti-Semitism should be dealt with, but this should follow due process. Any false and trumped up allegations to score political points against Corbyn and his supporters, however, must also come to an end.
Solidarity with Chris!
Sheffield Labour Left statement
Sheffield Labour Left welcomes the resignation of the seven MPs who have resigned the Labour Whip today.
We urge those right-wingers who remain in the Labour Party to go as well.
Sheffield Labour Left recognise that such resignations help socialists to build Labour as a genuine mass socialist party.
For the many, not the few!
Our meeting will discuss Clause Four of the Labour Party’s constitution and what we mean by “public ownership”. We will debate whether the original version of Clause Four that was adopted in February 1918 (and which Tony Blair got rid of) should be restored to the Labour Party’s constitution – or if we need someting more radical.
The meeting will be chaired by Martin Mayer, Chair of Sheffield Labour Left, Secretary of Sheffield Trade Union Council and previously a UNITE delegate to the Labour Party’s NEC. Our two guest speakers are Rob Sewell, Coordinator of the Labour4Clause4 campaign (labour4clause4.com) and a member of Socialist Appeal (www.socialist.net) and Mark Lewis, a member of the Labour Party.
Come along and participate in the debate about one of the essential principles of socialism.
Wednesday February 27, 6.30pm
URC, 60 Norfolk Street, Sheffield S1
Download the PDF for the leaflet here (A5 format).
In December, the Labour Party NEC refused to endorse Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt as the parliamentary candidate for South Thanet. It has thereby undermined the democratic decision of local Labour Party members who selected her in April 2018. The following three Twitter messages by Rebecca constitute the whole ‘evidence’ against her:
- “Accusations levelled at Jackie Walker are politically motivated.”
- “Antisemitism has been weaponised by those who seek to silence anti-Zionist voices. See The Lynching, endorsed by Ken Loach, for elucidation.”
- “Accusations of AS levelled in an attempt to discredit the left.”
This clearly shows that the witch-hunt against Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters is very much ongoing.
Please move either of the following model motions in your branch/CLP – and let us know about it so we can publish them here.
This branch/CLP is appalled at the decision of a three-person NEC panel not to endorse South Thanet Labour Party’s democratically elected parliamentary candidate, Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt. This decision is an affront to our democratic traditions and appears not to be accompanied by any supporting evidence nor any rationale detailing the decision-making process. This branch/CLP asks the NEC to review its decision in a way which fully respects the integrity of the NEC and the democratic wishes of the membership.
republished from Labour Briefing
Chis Williamson MP explains how to fight smears and insults
Efforts by opponents of common sense socialism to prevent a meeting in Sheffield about why we need an anti-war government were frustrated when Sheffield Labour Left stepped into the breach.
The meeting was originally going to be hosted by Sheffield Labour Students. But after a hateful smear campaign by my opponents, which included smearing me with false accusation of antisemitism, the students voted to pull the meeting.
However, the haters didn’t bargain for the strength of solidarity in Sheffield, and an alternative venue was found at short notice. A successful meeting took place, which was addressed by myself and Steven Bell from Stop the War.
We all need to remember that as we get closer to a general election the smears, insults and intimidation will only increase. But this episode perfectly illustrates the importance of the old labour movement maxim that unity is strength. If we stand together we shall overcome.
Today, we have sent the following petition to Sheffield Labour Students, which has been signed by 88 members of the Labour Party in Sheffield.
As Labour party members in Sheffield, we are disappointed that Sheffield Labour Students has cancelled its ‘Why we need an anti-war government’ meeting featuring Chris Williamson MP.
We note that at a time of heightened militarism across the world, this event was too important to cancel. Cancelling it is highly counterproductive to the aim of a peaceful, progressive society we are all working towards.
We also note that Chris Williamson is a champion of the anti-racist movement and has campaigned for many years against racism, fascism and anti-Semitism. The portrayal of him as anything other than this is wrongful and dangerous to the entire ant-racist movement.
We call on Sheffield Labour students to reverse the decision made to un-invite Chris Williamson to speak.
We stand in solidarity with Chris Williamson against the injustices that are so prevalent in this country and the whole world. Continue reading 85 Labour Party members sign petition to Sheffield Labour Students: Reverse your decision!
It was great that Sheffield Labour Left were able to host the meeting with Chris Williamson MP and Stephen Bell from the Stop the War Coalition.
Initially Chris and Stephen were due to speak at a meeting to be hosted by Sheffield Labour Students (SLS) at the University of Sheffield. Following a complaint by the Sheffield Jewish Student Society, which accused Chris of “encouraging a culture of anti-Semitism”, the executive of Sheffield Labour Students came under pressure to cancel or postpone the meeting. Initially the SLS – ostensibly run by a left-wing majority – held firm against these disgraceful attacks. But not for long. The SLS’s event organiser (who is also a member of the steering committee of Sheffield Momentum) resigned from his position, because he had “hoped that the committee would listen to and accommodate the requests of a minority group”.
Continue reading Chris Williamson MP in Sheffield – uncensored!
This CLP, noting that Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL), launched at the Labour Party conference in September 2017: