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Marc Wadsworth expelled by Labour over anti-Semitism

The Labour Party has expelled an activist who was accused of anti-Semitism after he reduced a Jewish Labour MP to tears.

Marc Wadsworth tore into Ruth Smeeth accusing her of colluding with the press at the launch of the party’s report into anti-Semitism two years ago.

He dismissed claims his comments were anti-Semitic and Corbynistas rallied to his defence – branding it a witch hunt and forming a noisy picket outside the disciplinary hearing.

But Labour today said Mr Wadsworth has been kicked out of the party for breaching rule 2.18 which bans behaviour which is ‘prejudicial’ or ‘detrimental’ to the party.

Ms Smeeth today said she is ‘relieved’ at the decision and said it shows intimidation and bullying have no place in the party.

The case was seen as a crucial tests of Jeremy Corbyn’s promise to finally crack down on anti-Semitism in the party amid anger at delays in acting.

Ms Smeeth said: ‘I hope the decision represents the first step towards a return to the values of decency and respect throughout the Labour Party.’ 

Marc Wadsworth (pictured on Wednesday heading into his disciplinary hearing)  reduced Ms Smeeth to tears at the launch of Labour’s anti-Semitism report in July 2016 by accusing her of colluding with the press

Ruth Smeeth (pictured in the black and white dress, along with Jewish Labour peer Alf Dubbs to the left, and Labour MPs Luciana Berger and Jess Philips to her right) was escorted by the Labour politician past a noisy picket of Corbynistas who were chanting their support for Marc Wadsworth

Ruth Smeeth (pictured in the black and white dress, along with Jewish Labour peer Alf Dubbs to the left, and Labour MPs Luciana Berger and Jess Philips to her right) was escorted by the Labour politician past a noisy picket of Corbynistas who were chanting their support for Marc Wadsworth

The Labour MP for Kingston upon Hull North paid tribute to Ruth Smeeth's bravery and said the decision to expel Marc Wadsworth is 'absolutely right'

The Labour MP for Kingston upon Hull North paid tribute to Ruth Smeeth’s bravery and said the decision to expel Marc Wadsworth is ‘absolutely right’

She added: ‘I am incredibly grateful for the support I have received throughout this ordeal from my friends and colleagues.

Marc Wadsworth left Ruth Smeeth in tears after accusing her of a conspiracy to attack Corbyn  

Labour Jewish MP Ruth Smeeth was left in tears after being accused of colluding with the press in an anti-Corbyn conspiracy by Marc Wadsworth. 

Speaking at the launch of Shami Chakrabarti report into anti-Semitism in July 2016, Mr Wadsworth accused her of acting ‘hand in hand’ with the press.

Standing up with the microphone in his hand at the televised launch, he said:  ‘I saw that The Telegraph handed a copy of a press release to Ruth Smeeth MP so you can see who is working hand in hand.’

His remarks sparked shocked gasps of disbelief as one audience member cried out: ‘Are you serious? How dare you.’ 

Ms Smeeth was so upset by the allegedly anti-Semitic remark that she left and broke down in tears. 

She later branded the vent ‘disgusting’.

Following a massive outcry, Mr Wadsworth was suspended by the Labour Party.

Some 22 months later he is finally having a disciplinary hearing  which will decide if he is kicked out of the party for good. 

‘I would also like to pay tribute to the hard work and professionalism of the labour party staff who have had to deal with this case and many others, often in the face of viscous criticism.

‘Abuse, bullying and intimidation have no place in our movement, as today’s announcement has proven.’

A Labour Party spokeswoman said: ‘The National Constitutional Committee (NCC) of the Labour Party has found that two charges of a breach of the Labour Party’s rule 2.1.8 by Marc Wadsworth have been proven.

‘The NCC consequently determined that the sanction for this breach of Labour Party rules will be expulsion from membership.’

The ruling was welcomed by Labour MPs who have demanded that Jeremy Corbyn takes tougher action and expel more activists for anti-Semitism. 

Labour MP for Kingston Upon Hull,  Diana Johnson, said:  ‘I want to pay a huge tribute to my Parliamentary colleague RuthSmeeth for her steadfastness and bravery in the face of anti-Semitic attacks. 

‘It is absolutely right that the Labour Party has acted today and expelled this member.’

Board of Deputies of British Jews President Jonathan Arkush said: ‘Marc Wadsworth’s expulsion has to be the right result and is a step in the right direction. 

‘Since our meeting with Jeremy Corbyn, the Party has pledged to deal with all of the outstanding cases by our next meeting in July 2018, including high profile cases like Ken Livingstone and Jackie Walker. We will be keeping a close eye on this. 

Ruth Smeeth (pictured, centre, in the black and white dress on the protest ton Wednesday) was joined by around 50 MPs who escorted her  from Parliament to the hearing held nearby to show their support

Ruth Smeeth (pictured, centre, in the black and white dress on the protest ton Wednesday) was joined by around 50 MPs who escorted her  from Parliament to the hearing held nearby to show their support

‘For now, we express our admiration for and solidarity with Ruth Smeeth MP who has had to endure the most revolting antisemitism for far too long and gave evidence at the hearing. Enough is enough.’ 

What are the anti-Semitic incidents in Labour that have reached a crisis under Corbyn’s watch?

  • Jeremy Corbyn defended an artist who painted an anti-Semitic mural in 2012, questioning why the offensive art should be removed
  • He was a member of a Facebook group which was awash with anti-Semitic ‎rhetoric, and he has described anti-Semitic groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah as ‘our friends’
  • The Labour leader stood by when a speaker disrupted the launch of his party’s anti-Semitism policy by accusing a Jewish MP of colluding with the press 
  • Labour has still failed to expel former London mayor Ken Livingstone, two years after he claimed Hitler supported Zionism. He has still not apologised 
  • Delegates at last year’s Labour conference complained of a ‘witch hunt’ against anti-Semitism and heard from a speaker who said it was legitimate to question the Holocaust 
  • The problem is so rife in the party the Jewish Labour Movement has had to hold training sessions for party members on how not to be anti-Semitic 
  • Labour members and councillors have shared disgusting messages and images on Facebook describing Jewish people of controlling world capitalism and being to blame for the policies of the Israeli government 
  • The party is failing to deal with a huge backlog of complaints and has failed to expel people even though they have committed offences such as referring to Jewish people as Yids
  • Corbyn ally Len McCluskey, the Unite general secretary, has dismissed anti-Semitism claims as ‘mood music’ spread by Blairites.
  • Labour’s new general secretary Jennie Formby was accused of recruiting a party member suspended for saying Hitler was a Zionist god. 

 

Ivor Caplin, Jewish Labour Movement’s spokesman, welcomed the decision – and said Ken Livingstone and controversial Corbynista Jackie Walker must be expelled from the party now. 

The disciplinary hearing began on Wednesday, with Momentum activists descending on the door of the building where it was  held to form a loud picket line.

They chanted their support for Mr Wadsworth and accused the Labour party of orchestrating a witch hunt against him – and others of Mr Corbyn’s supporters.

Ms Smeeth, who was giving evidence at the hearing, was escorted by around 50 Labour MPs and peers in a remarkable display of solidarity.

Labour politicians said they did not want her to have to walk the gauntlet of the chanting protesters alone.

One of the Corbynista protesters, John Bridge, told Mail Online on the day: ‘I believe there is a witch hunt going on in the Labour Party. It is totally cynical.

‘Those who have be en expelled or suspended are militant, Jewish, anti Zionists.’ 

Another female protester who would not give her name said: ‘It is a witch hunt – a stick to beat Jeremy Corbyn with.’ 

Speaking on Wednesday as he walked into the hearing, Mr Wadsworth said he was confident he will be cleared.

He said: ‘I am feeling very confident because  I am not guilty – if this is based on the facts and it’s fair then I will be exonerated.

‘I am totally and utterly opposed to anti-Semitism, to all forms of bigotry and hatred including anti black racism and Islamophobia.’  

He added: ‘I have endured nearly two years of trial by media……’

Today’s decision comes 22 months after Mr Wadsworth was first accused of making anti-Semitic remarks at Ms Smeeth.

Speaking at the launch of Shami Chakrabarti report into anti-Semitism in July 2016, he accused her of acting ‘hand in hand’ with the press in a bid to damage Mr  Corbyn’s leadership.

Standing up with the microphone in his hand at the televised launch, he said:  ‘I saw that The Telegraph handed a copy of a press release to Ruth Smeeth MP so you can see who is working hand in hand.’

His remarks sparked shocked gasps of disbelief as one audience member cried out: ‘are you serious? How dare you.’

Ms Smeeth was so upset by the remark that she left and broke down in tears. 

She later branded the event ‘disgusting’.  

Labour has been dogged by anti-Semitism claims ever since Mr Corbyn was elected leader in 2015. 



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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