Chris Williamson got a taste of his own medicine last night as he tried to turn a routine meeting of an All-Party Parliamentary Group into his own CLP takeover.
The APPG on Venezuela has an enthusiastic following from the Venezuelan expat community in the UK. Many of them fled Venezuela due to the policies of despot President Nicolas Maduro and his predecessor Hugo Chavez.
These Parliamentary groups, known widely as APPGs, cover many countries and topical issues and by their very name require cross party participation. The turnout of MPs for APPG meetings is usually between 5 and 10.
But this didn’t stop the Derby North MP from turning up to its AGM last night to try and take it over.
Joined by comrades Karen Lee, Grahame Morris and Dan Carden – this gang of four were determined to take over the APPG, turn it into a Chavissimo fan club and by doing that shunning the expats, interested members of the public and all the other MPs who have worked hard to get it off the ground over the past year.
Dueto a last minute room change, the meeting had to move to another room to the ire of Karen Lee who was wanting a clean and time-efficient coup.
Itwas decided by its chair and founder, Graham Jones, that the delayed meeting should start with the pre-planned panel discussion that over 40 members of the public had turned up for and leave the AGM until the end.
KarenLee’s interest in Venezuela only lasted so long as she kept interrupting the panel members to demand a vote on the officers.
Tostop any further disruption the Chair decided to call a vote. By that time the meeting had swelled with around 25 MPs from all parties supporting the APPG’s work in building better links with the Venezuelan people instead of being an apologist group for the Maduro regime.
WhileWilliamson and co. beat a hasty retreat, the vote was called and MPs unanimously backed Graham to stay on as chair for another year and elected a Labour MP, Tory MP and a Crossbench Lord as Vice-Chairs.
Better luck next time Chris.