We cannot overstate the depth and breadth of hurt and anger felt about the readmission of Chris Williamson into the Labour party and the questions that arise about the fairness of the process.
The officer recommendation – that Chris Williamson should be referred to the national constitutional committee for action – was ignored by the members of the NEC panel. That the composition of that panel was changed at short notice seems highly irregular.
Justice needs to be seen to be done and this process has not done that.
Given that the Labour party is being investigated by the EHRC over allegations of institutional antisemitism this case is particularly important.
It is clear to us that the Labour party’s disciplinary process remains mired by the appearance of political interference. This must stop. We need a truly independent process.
We call on Jeremy Corbyn to show leadership by asking for this inappropriate, offensive and reputationally damaging decision to be overturned and reviewed.
Ultimately, it is for Jeremy Corbyn to decide whether Chris Williamson retains the Labour whip. He must remove it immediately if we are to stand any hope of persuading anyone that the Labour party is taking antisemitism seriously.