You can read 9 more articles this month
POLITICAL witch-hunts targeting allies of Jeremy Corbyn must not be allowed to “poison relationships between the black, Asian and Jewish communities,” Clive Lewis told a Grassroots Black Left fringe meeting on Tuesday night.
Mr Lewis said he was proud to stand with anti-racist Marc Wadsworth in his battle to be reinstated as a member of the Labour Party, having known and campaigned with him for decades.
Mr Wadsworth was expelled from the party on the grounds of bringing it into disrepute by saying Ruth Smeeth MP was working “hand in hand” with the Daily Telegraph at the launch of the Chakrabarti report into anti-semitism in the party.
Ms Smeeth subsequently alleged that the accusation was an anti-semitic reference to supposed Jewish control of the press.
But Mr Lewis said Mr Wadsworth had merely been making a political point about right-wing MPs working with right-wing newspapers.
“It was not an anti-semitic trope. It was a political observation,” he said to applause.
The Norwich South MP said when Mr Wadsworth had asked for his help he had thought: “Shit!”
He added: “You’ve seen what happens when you stick your head above the parapet on this issue. It gets shot off,” but he had had to stand in solidarity with a comrade and for the principle that “people should be able to express themselves politically.”
He declared: “I would like to see Jeremy Corbyn come out fighting on this issue.”
Train drivers union Aslef president Tosh McDonald warned that the party’s treatment of activists like Mr Wadsworth was reminiscent of witch-hunts, with calls for people to be expelled rather than respect for due process and proper investigation of complaints and Chris Williamson MP said the cause was not just about justice for the anti-racist campaigner but for “thousands” of Labour Party members treated “appallingly” by the party's disciplinary arm.
Mr Wadsworth, an activist of decades’ standing whose work for the campaign for justice for Stephen Lawrence included introducing Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu to the Lawrence family, called for a revived grassroots anti-racist movement.
He said there was a lack of understanding of anti-black racism in the Labour Party and beyond.
You can donate to the Justice4Marc speaking tour here.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.