As seven Labour MPs quit the party yesterday, former Merseyside Militant Derek ‘Degsy’ Hatton was welcomed back into the party 34 years after being expelled amid accusations of bullying and corruption.
He says the move was inspired by Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, but Labour should think twice about welcoming back hypocrite Hatton, a champagne socialist who thinks rape accusers should face public scrutiny and says Labour’s antisemitism crisis is “a coordinated stitch-up”.
Here are six things you need to know about him as he parades the TV studios today.
1 He suggested rape accusers should face public scrutiny
Hatton has been condemned for an article he wrote for the Liverpool Echo titled “Should women who cry rape keep anonymity?” The article suggested that the accuser’s right to anonymity should be scrapped, something campaigners say is crucial to encouraging rape victims to come forward.
2 He thinks Labour’s antisemitism crisis is a “co-ordinated stitch-up”
Like others on the far-left, Hatton believes Labour’s antisemitism crisis is fabricated. He has described it as “a coordinated stitch-up” and a “battery of lies”, despite saying elsewhere “there is no justification for racism however you dress it up”.
3 He complains that tax is too high…
In a 2008 interview in which he boasted of his a £60,000 Range Rover, champagne socialist Hatton whinged about having to pay the top 40 percent tax rate for higher earners, saying “I’m just about equal with inflation … what’s the point of that?”
4 …but loves low taxes in Cyprus…
In contrast, Hatton was full of praise for tax haven Cyprus, gushing over the island’s “low income tax (10 per cent), zero inheritance tax and a system of English law which makes it easy to invest”.
5 …and flogs foreign property to investors from Iran and Dubai
Asked if he was “feeling the effects of the credit squeeze”, Hatton poured his heart out: “yes, British buyers have become more cautious”. But good news – “there are still investors from South Africa, Dubai and Iran who are happy to purchase from afar”.
6 He said Tony Blair was “the only way forward”
Now he’s a born-again Corbynista, but in 1997 he was a signed-up Blairite, telling an interviewer: “if I were an up and coming political activist today and Blair walked in here, I’d tell him: ‘Tony, you’re on the right track, the only way forward. You’ve got my vote.””