Chris Williamson

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  • Aug.27.2018: Roy Hattersley urges Corbyn to intervene in Labour deselection row. senior Labour politician and former deputy leader Roy Hattersley has written to Jeremy Corbyn asking him to intervene to stop one of his most loyal supporters campaigning for the deselection of centrist MPs, saying such tactics risked leading to a repeat of the party split of the 1980s. Hattersley, who was in the Commons for 33 years and Labour’s deputy leader for nine , said in his letter to Corbyn that the efforts by Chris Williamson, the MP for Derby North, would alienate floating voters and risked causing a split in the party. Hattersley said he attended one of the Democracy Roadshow events last week in the South Yorkshire constituency of Penistone and Stocksbridge, where the local MP is Angela Smith, a regular critic of Corbyn. Hattersley, who has condemned Corbyn in the past [link), said Williamson’s speech had an emphasis on mandatory reselection for MPs. He wrote: “I do not question the right of a constituency Labour party to replace a sitting member with a new candidate. What is intolerable is a campaign to promote indiscriminate reselection which is organised from outside the constituency, supported by new recruits who have been briefly enrolled for that purpose and is intended to benefit candidates of a particular point of view.” Hattersley, who was made a peer in 1997, continued: “A reselection campaign, whatever its outcome, will alienate floating voters whose support we need. Were it to have any success, the consequences would be catastrophic. He said: “Faced with the most incompetent government this century, it should be 20 points ahead on the opinion polls. But because of a combination of its own incompetence and its enthusiasm for ideological claptrap, it is squandering its chance of winning the next election. It has to change or it will become a political irrelevance.” Peter Walker, The Guardian.
  • May.31.2018: Corbyn ally Chris Williamson under fire after attending rally for expelled party activist. Labour MP Chris Williamson has come under fire after attending a campaign event for an activist who was expelled from the party over his actions at the launch of a report on anti-Semitism. Marc Wadsworth was suspended from Labour in 2016 after accusing Labour MP Ruth Smeeth of working "hand in hand" with Telegraph journalist Kate McCann to undermine Jeremy Corbyn at the launch of the Chakrabarti report into anti-Jewish abuse. He was expelled by Labour last month following an investigation which concluded that he had acted in a way that was "grossly detrimental to the party". Mr Williamson said: "Marc is a veteran anti-racist campaigner and the National Constitutional Committee's decision has besmirched the reputation of a good man, so it cannot be allowed to go unchallenged. I gave evidence on his behalf at the original NCC hearing a couple of months ago and was shocked by the outcome, because the decision was inconsistent with the evidence". He said Mr Wadsworth had been "expelled for asking a question at a press conference", a decision he described as "plainly absurd". Matt Foster, Politics Home.
  • Jan.11.2018: Chris Williamson's resignation is a sign of things to come. The resignation is interesting for a number of reasons. The first is that Jeremy Corbyn dislikes firing people and has an immense sense of fidelity to those who have stayed loyal to him. But similar controlled explosions like this one might become the norm. Stephen Bush, The New Statesman.
  • Jan.11.2018: Chris Williamson quits Labour frontbench after 'double council tax' call. Corbyn ally resigns as shadow minister after Tories criticise his suggestion to raise council tax for rich homeowners. The interview, which was the latest of a series of controversial pronouncements, strayed outside his brief and did not reflect party policy. Heather Stewart, The Guardian.
  • Jan.09.2018: Double Council Taxes On Wealthy Homes, Shadow Minister Chris Williamson Urges Labour Town Halls. It would help Labour town halls “seize the initiative” and halt Tory cuts. He said that his radical plan to hike the tax on wealthier properties, while freezing it for less expensive homes, was one answer to “relentless” austerity suffered by local councils. Williamson said that his ‘Differential Progressive Council Tax’ proposal would require popular support in local referendums, but said the argument was winnable as it was about local budgets "for the many, not the few". The shadow fire minister, who also floated the idea of a “local purchase tax” to help councils raise their own funds, stressed his proposal was not official party policy and would be up to local parties to adopt. Paul Waugh, HuffPost.