Williamson readmitted to the Labour Party – split widens as 90 MPs oppose his reinstatement

Labour MP Chris Williamson opposing the threat to Venezuela

LABOUR MP Chris Williamson was allowed back into the party yesterday morning after an investigation into comments he made about the party’s handling of anti-Semitism allegations.

Williamson, MP for Derby North, was suspended in February after saying Labour had been ‘too apologetic’ in the face of criticism on the issue.

A Labour source said Williamson was found to have breached party rules and was given a formal sanction.

They said he could face further action if he repeats any similar behaviour.

Williamson said he was pleased to have been allowed back into the party and had been ‘inundated with overwhelming messages of support from all over the country’.

He said yesterday: ‘Anybody who knows me, who knows my record, knows I’m someone who has stood up against bigotry throughout my political life and indeed beforehand.’

He added that some of the comments made about his re-admission had been ‘really quite offensive and incredibly hurtful’.

Labour is on the verge of a split as by yesterday afternoon the right-wing of the party moved to try and reverse the decision to reinstate Williamson.

Right wing deputy leader Tom Watson lead the charge for Williamson to have the whip removed.

Watson made his call for Jeremy Corbyn to withdraw the whip from Chris Williamson as 90 Labour MPs and peers signed a declaration opposing his reinstatement.

The statement said they could not overstate the ‘depth and breadth of hurt and anger’ at the way the case had been handled.

The statement reads: ‘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 anti-Semitism seriously.’