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CHRIS WILLIAMSON is taking legal action against the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) after he was named in its confidential draft report into alleged anti-semitism in Labour.
The former Labour MP for Derby North said today that he will be “taking on” the EHRC.
The equalities watchdog launched an investigation in May last year to determine whether Labour had “unlawfully discriminated against, harassed or victimised people because they are Jewish.”
The draft report, which is subject to change before the final version is published later this year, was circulated to people it had named earlier this month.
Mr Williamson, who resigned from Labour following the NEC’s decision not to endorse him as the official Labour candidate, after having said in 2019 that the party was “too apologetic” about its record in tackling anti-semitism, launched a crowdfund £10,000 to cover legal fees.
The fund surpassed its target today afternoon after nine hours of its launch, and then the target was doubled to £20,000.
Mr Williamson said: “All unused funds will be donated to the Left Legal Fighting Fund to assist others under pressure from the Israel lobby’s lawfare tactics.
“They can coerce and intimidate others, but not us. They’ve awoken a sleeping giant. Our collective solidarity can begin to turn the tide.”
Mr Williamson has established a Left Legal Fighting Fund in order to “assist other activists who have been maliciously smeared and harassed.”
The fund has since assisted several left-wing activists and is providing legal support to Black Lives Matter protesters, he said.
Mr Williamson said: “I know that I can rely on the support and solidarity of thousands of people in taking on the EHRC. Many people are alarmed at the way in which this supposedly impartial body is operating.
“In my view, the EHRC’s conduct has played a leading role in legitimising a McCarthyite smear campaign against the British left, and was instrumental in the attempts to derail Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.
“It seems pretty clear that the EHRC lacks independence from the government and has been abusing its legal mandate by attacking the official opposition.
“Far from being an ‘equalities watchdog,’ I’d say that the EHRC has become a right-wing attack dog. It must be urgently disbanded.”
The crowdfunder can be found at: www.campaignforchris.org/ehrc.
A GoFundMe fundraiser to help defend former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn against a libel action by Panorama reporter John Ware has reached nearly £320,00 since launching last week.
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