A far-left group headed by John McDonnell has helped organise a lobby against the suspension of Labour MP Chris Williamson over accusations of antisemitism, raising questions over his own stances on the issue.
The Labour Representation Committee (LRC) of which McDonnell is president has helped organise a lobby of Labour’s ruling NEC at the party’s headquarters in Victoria today, calling on officials to “uphold the decision of the June 26 panel lifting Chris Williamson’s suspension.”
Williamson was originally suspended in February after he was recorded telling a Sheffield Momentum meeting that Labour has been “too apologetic” about antisemitism. He was briefly readmitted in June before being suspended again amid an uproar.
McDonnell’s far-left LRC group immediately condemned the decision, saying “the accusation of antisemitism is a sham” and that his “real crime” was advocating for the replacement of MPs who are critical of Jeremy Corbyn. McDonnell wrote an article for the LRC website just a few days later.
A week ago, McDonnell refused to comment on Williamson’s case in an interview on Sky News, saying he did not want to be “accused of prejudging the case.” It raises further questions over McDonnell’s association with an organisation that has dismissed reports of Labour antisemitism as “propaganda” and defended the right to call Israel “intrinsically racist”.