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LABOUR is being sued by expelled campaigner Marc Wadsworth, who submitted court papers today to launch the first legal case accusing the party of anti-black racism.
He was kicked out last year after being accused of anti-semitism and “bringing the party into disrepute.”
Mr Wadsworth argues that white Labour MPs such as Margaret Hodge, who has called party leader Jeremy Corbyn a “fucking racist and anti-semite,” have been immune from punishment, while he and other pro-Corbyn prominent activists, including black Jewish former Momentum vice-chair Jackie Walker and Black Activists Rising Against Cuts co-chair Lee Jasper, have faced disciplinary action or expulsion.
His lawyers Birnberg Peirce said it was with regret that Mr Wadsworth had to serve court papers, adding that Labour representatives have refused any meetings to discuss his case.
He was expelled after he told those present at the launch of Labour’s Chakrabarti report into anti-semitism and racism that he had seen Labour MP Ruth Smeeth working “hand in hand” with the Daily Telegraph, and pointed out the lack of black and Asian people at the event.
Ms Smeeth alleged that he was suggesting Jewish people had control over the media.
Mr Wadsworth said that he had not known at the time that she was Jewish, insisting that he was referring to Telegraph journalist Kate McCann handing Ms Smeeth his press release at the event.
He told the Morning Star: “Throughout my more than two-year ordeal, which has included trial by media, several of whom have had to correct inaccurate reporting of the case, as a lifelong anti-racist campaigner I have had to robustly refute any suggestion I am anti-semitic.”
Labour frontbencher Clive Lewis has said that Mr Wadsworth was merely making a political point about right-wing MPs working with right-wing newspapers.
The party has admitted that the process used to discipline Mr Wadsworth in 2016 was not fit for purpose. It is now undergoing reform.
Since Labour has refused a call to bear its own legal costs, Mr Wadsworth said he could face crippling fees of £200,000 or more, potentially bankrupting him.
He has raised almost £30,000 to pay lawyers, who have so far worked for free, and has appealed for donations to be made at crowdjustice.com/case/justiceforantiracismcampaigner.
Mr Wadsworth helped Doreen and Neville Lawrence set up their Justice for Stephen Lawrence campaign in 1993 and introduced them to Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. He also founded the Anti-Racist Alliance in 1991.
Ms Smeeth is former director of public affairs and campaigns at the British Israel Communications and Research Centre. She was named in US diplomatic cables exposed by WikiLeaks as a source –marked “strictly protect” – of inside information on the Gordon Brown government.
Labour declined to comment on the case.
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