The Campaign for Labour Party Democracy (CLPD), a far-left group with five members of Labour’s ruling committees amongst its leadership, has demanded the reinstatement of Ken Livingstone and Marc Wadsworth.
CLPD took to Twitter yesterday to announce that their executive had voted to “oppose any expulsion of Ken Livingstone” and to “deplore the unjust expulsion of Marc Wadsworth”.
Ken Livingstone has been suspended from the Labour Party since April 2016 for claiming that Hitler supported Zionism. He is due to have a disciplinary hearing before Labour’s self-imposed July deadline for dealing with outstanding antisemitism cases.
Marc Wadsworth has already been expelled from the Labour Party after he accused Jewish MP Ruth Smeeth of working “hand in hand” with the media to undermine Labour at the launch of the Chakrabarti report in 2016.
CLPD’s statement will raise concerns over a conflict of interest, as the group’s leadership includes four members of Labour’s ruling NEC and one member of the NCC committee that hears disciplinary cases.
Far-left veteran Pete Willsman is chair of CLPD, and a member of the CLPs division of the NEC. Other NEC members amongst the CLPD leadership include Momentum chief Jon Lansman, Rachel Garnham and failed Lewisham East candidate Claudia Webbe.
CLPD’s treasurer is Russell Cartwright, who was on the NCC panel that held Ken Livingstone’s initial disciplinary hearing.
It is not the first time that members of CLPD have intervened in antisemitism cases. Vice chair Christine Shawcroft was forced to step down from the NEC after she used her position as chair as the NCC disciplinary panel to oppose the suspension of a council candidate accused of Holocaust denial.