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Throughout Derby Chris Williamson is known as someone who stands up for working-class people, whatever their origins and ethnicity. We are proud to have him as our MP.
Chris has proven himself to be a fierce opponent of all forms of racism, including anti-semitism. He is outspoken and brave in this. As a young man in the 1970s he was an active member of the Anti-Nazi League, confronting the racists and anti-semites of the National Front wherever they raised their vile heads, and he has maintained the same position and active opposition to racism, anti-semitism and fascism ever since.
We should remember that Chris worked hard to spearhead the efforts to ensure Derby was one of the first local authorities to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.
What Chris said in Sheffield was that the evils of racism, anti-semitism and Islamophobia need to be fought and beaten wherever and whenever they appear, and that the Labour Party has done more than any other parliamentary party — and therefore should be not so apologetic about its performance in this regard — though of course there is always more to be done.
It is this that has been misinterpreted — deliberately so — by some who seek a stick to beat him with.
It is an absolute absurdity and vile travesty to level the charge of anti-semitism at Chris and everyone in Derby knows it. As secretary of the Derby Area Trades Union Council I urge fair-minded Derby people to speak up for him, just as he speaks up bravely for all of us.
Chris stands for unity, solidarity and community cohesion. Those members of the Labour Party, particularly those MPs, who oppose the restoration of socialism in the leadership of the party have failed in their many attempts to reverse this.
So they have increasingly turned to distortions and smears against the leadership — including Chris Williamson, who is their target of the day. It is they who should apologise for their defamation of a decent man and an MP who really cares for his people, whatever their heritage and background.
Secretary, Derby Area Trade Union Council
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