The disgraced former Labour MP, Chris Williamson, described his erstwhile Party’s institutional antisemitism as “manufactured” and part of an “assault on our democracy” by a “hostile foreign government” to “normalise Zionism in the Labour Party”.
Mr Williamson made the comments in a video explaining the outcome of his legal case regarding his three suspensions from the Labour Party. In the video, he said: “We’ve seen manufactured antisemitism allegations as part of a concerted smear campaign. A hostile foreign government has mobilised its assets in the UK, which Israeli diplomats call their ‘power-multiplier’ in an attempt to prevent a Corbyn-led Labour government. Their secondary goal was always to blunt the internationalism in our movement and normalise Zionism in the Labour Party. They’ve done this by terrifying activists, coordinating with anti-Corbyn journalists and MPs and using faith organisations, many of them charities, to promote the antisemitism narrative…Instead of fighting interference in our election and calling out this outrageous assault on our democracy, the Labour Party’s internalised the narrative promoted by the far-right Israeli government.”
Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Antisemitism Barometer 2019 showed that antisemitism on the far-left of British politics has surpassed that of the far-right, and that 17% of British people believe, like Mr Williamson, that Israel and those who support it do damage to British democracy.
Mr Williamson resigned from the Labour Party after learning that he would not be allowed to stand for the Party in the general election. His extraordinary letter of resignation from the Party read like a manifesto against Jews. He ran in the general election as an independent and, in a rarity for an incumbent MP that demonstrates the depth of his rejection by his Derby North constituents, got so few votes that he lost his deposit.
In the first release of its Antisemitism in Political Parties research, Campaign Against Antisemitism has shown that Jeremy Corbyn is personally responsible for 24 incidents of antisemitic discourse, with Mr Williamson responsible for 26 incidents.
On 28th May, the Equality and Human Rights Commission launched a full statutory investigation following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant.