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THE left has a chance to “change the balance of power in this country forever” if it comes together to fight for Jeremy Corbyn’s socialist vision, Derby North MP Chris Williamson told the Morning Star today.
Mr Williamson, whose suspension from the Labour Party over comments he made defending its record of fighting anti-semitism was lifted yesterday, thanked Labour members and supporters for the “inspiring and at times emotionally overwhelming” support he had received while suspended.
“The Labour Party and anti-racism are in my DNA, so it was incredibly hurtful to be subject to these vile accusations,” he said. “I’ve spent my life challenging racism and as a member of the Anti-Nazi League in the 1970s I literally fought racist fascists on the streets.
“I now want to put this awful experience behind me and focus on making the case for a socialist alternative to the last four decades of neoliberalism.”
If socialists unite in the fight for a Labour government, he said, the movement could “eliminate poverty, democratise the economy, rise to the challenge posed by climate changes and export peace and disarmament around the world.”
Though a disciplinary hearing ruled that Mr Williamson could return to the Labour benches with a warning for saying Labour had been “too apologetic” about its record of fighting anti-semitism, the decision was attacked by right-wing Labour MP Margaret Hodge, who called it “outrageous,” as well as activists Owen Jones and Ash Sarkar.
But Jewish author and Labour member David Rosenberg said he was pleased at the ruling as Labour “needs people with the energy, drive and determination to fight against injustice that he displays, and I note that he has a longer record of campaigning against racism and fascism than his detractors.”
Mr Rosenberg said that Mr Williamson’s remarks in Sheffield last year had not been “brilliantly phrased” but that their sentiment, that Labour has done more than other political parties to fight anti-semitism, was correct.
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