Labour MP Chris Williamson called for mandatory reselection and repeated his proposals to double council tax at a Momentum meeting in Brighton last night.
Williamson told the meeting, “let’s have mandatory reselection” of MPs and councillors, and advised, “if a de-selected Labour MP wants to prove their individual mandate then I say ‘stand as an independent mate’.”
He reiterated his plan for local authorities to double council tax for wealthy residents, labelling it “the Williamson model.”
Williamson was forced to resign from Jeremy Corbyn’s frontbench after proposing the tax-hike in an interview with the Huffington Post.
Andrew Gwynne, Shadow Local Government Secretary, was known to be furious at the time, as the plans risked damaging Labour’s chances in the coming May local elections.
The Derby North MP also warned working class councillors “not to be bamboozled by council officers,” which one local Labour members described afterwards as “insulting” on the basis that it implied that “working class people are more likely to be bamboozled than middle class people.”
Former Jeremy Corbyn-staffer and recently elected councillor in Brighton, Nancy Platts, also spoke in front of an audience of around 100.
Tony Greenstein, who was expelled from the Labour Party on Sunday, also spoke from the audience.
Williamson and Platts may face questions about their judgement for attending the meeting with Greenstein, who was expelled from Labour on Sunday for abuse and offensive language – including accusing Jewish Labour MP Louise Ellman of “supporting Israeli child abuse,” and labelling journalist Owen Jones “a Janus-faced whore.”
Platts used her speech to attack Labour for taking action against figures like Greenstein, saying “what the Labour Party did trolling back through social media accounts two years back to party members in 2016 was absolutely disgraceful.”
The meeting, chaired by suspended Labour Party member and former Daily Mail journalist, Greg Hadfield, was titled ‘What Socialist Councillors Can Achieve.’
Hadfield expressed solidarity from the panel with Greenstein over his recent expulsion, and congratulated Platts on “invading the club of the Brighton and Hove Labour Group.”