Last week, Campaign Against Antisemitism was in direct contact with Christine Shawcroft, Momentum’s newly-appointed chair of the Party’s National Executive Committee’s Disputes Panel, requesting that she clarify her position with regard to the case of Tony Greenstein, a notorious antisemite previously expelled from Labour for antisemitism, inexplicably re-admitted, and now re-suspended for antisemitism once more. As chair of the Disputes Panel, Ms Shawcroft has the casting vote in disciplinary matters, such as whether to refer a member of the Party to the National Constitution Committee (NCC) for expulsion from the Party.
In her initial reply to us, Ms Shawcroft confirmed to us that she had indeed elected to be Mr Greenstein’s “silent friend” at his recent disciplinary hearing, and that as such there was a “potential conflict” in her continuing to act in that role. However, she failed, after two requests, to confirm whether or not she would be recusing herself from any future case in which Mr Greenstein was involved, in which she would hold the casting vote.
The Disputes Panel’s behaviour last week in merely issuing a warning to former council candidates Mike Sivier and Billy J Wells, instead of referring their cases to the NCC for potential expulsion, has already brought condemnation. What is more, Mr Sivier’s refusal to countenance taking the antisemitism education the Disputes Panel sent him for has made a laughing stock of National Executive Committee (NEC) member Darren Williams, who interceded on his behalf.
Campaign Against Antisemitism believes that the NCC will be reviewing Mr Greenstein’s case this Friday. Whatever their verdict, it would heap more ridicule on the Labour Party were Ms Shawcroft to chair future NEC panels considering Mr Greenstein’s case, and Campaign Against Antisemitism calls on the Labour Party to immediately confirm that she will not be permitted to chair any such meeting.
Meanwhile, sources within Labour have suggested that it is still possible that Christine Shawcroft could, ex officio, sit on the NCC tomorrow to hear Mr Greenstein’s case. As lists of those who sit on NCC cases are not published, it is impossible to say whether this will happen, but were it to happen it would be damning for the Labour Party.