MP Keith Vaz demands Labour reverse the decision to let Chris Williamson back into the party (despite voting for it HIMSELF)
- Keith Vaz MP was part of three-strong panel that lifted Williamson’s suspension
- Went against advice from officials who had recommended further action
- Vaz is subject of inquiry over paying for male prostitutes and suggestions he could have bought cocaine
Disgraced Labour MP Keith Vaz last night demanded the decision to reinstate Chris Williamson be reconsidered – despite voting for it himself.
Mr Vaz, who is currently the subject of a sleaze inquiry, was part of a three-strong Labour panel that overruled advice from officials who had recommended further action against Mr Williamson.
Labour sources said the former minister had warned that continuing Mr Williamson’s suspension could raise the risk of Labour losing his marginal Derby North seat in the event of a snap election.
Mr Vaz, who is currently the subject of a sleaze inquiry, was part of a three-strong Labour panel that overruled advice from officials who had recommended further action against Mr Williamson
But last night Mr Vaz called for the National Executive Committee panel that made the ruling to be reconvened with different members.
In a letter to Jennie Formby, the party’s general secretary, he said the fact that details of Mr Williamson’s case were leaked to the media meant that the other 36 cases dealt with by the panel ‘could potentially mount a legal challenge’.
The MP for Leicester East also said that he had been called to sit on the panel at the last minute and had gone to the meeting ‘despite having medical treatment that day’.
There was widespread anger at the announcement on Wednesday that Derby North MP Chris Williamson had had his suspension lifted just months after he said Labour had been too apologetic over anti-Semitism
He added: ‘In my view, having served on the NEC for 15 years I consider the decisions the panel made yesterday cannot stand.
‘In order to ensure complete integrity of the process either a new panel should be convened or all the cases from yesterday should be referred to the Disputes Committee for reconsideration.’
Earlier this week Mr Vaz and fellow panel member Huda Elmi voted to let Mr Williamson off with a formal warning.
Veteran Labour MP George Howarth was the only member of the panel to accept that the case should be dealt with more severely.