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Grassroots Black Left: 'We're appalled by Wadsworth verdict'

PICTURED: Marc Wadsworth

GRASSROOTS BLACK Left (GBL) is appalled by the expulsion of its member Marc Wadsworth, as revealed in a recent statement which can be read below:

This decision to expel Marc Wadsworth brings the Labour party into disrepute and we will fight besides Wadsworth to help him clear his name and get reinstated.

The National Constitutional Committee hearing was based on a disciplinary process that newly appointed general secretary Jennie Formby has declared “is not fit for purpose.”

Such is Labour’s confusion over what the party has adopted as its definition of anti-Semitism. The NCC had to call an adjournment during the hearing to seek legal advice on the matter.

The panel then ruled the case against Wadsworth could be proven based on solely on the perception by some people that what he said at the launch of the Charkrabarti report on June 30, 2016 was anti-semitism.

Prominent Labour Jewish witnesses at the hearing pointed out that the contested definition of anti-semitism by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) is deeply flawed. Far from helping the much-needed fight against anti-semitism, the definition undermines it.

GBL is heartened that leading Labour politicians Clive Lewis, Keith Vaz and Chris Williamson were among those people who put in witness statements to the party defending Wadsworth.

Among those people who signed a letter to The Guardian backing Wadsworth were Gary Younge, the paper’s editor-at-large, Lord Herman Ouseley, Simon Wolley, director of Operation Black Vote, Peter Herbert, chair of the Society of black Lawyers, Professor Paul Gilroy, Professor Gus John, former Lambeth council leader Linda Bellos, and human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell.

Hassan Ahmed, GBL co-chair, said: “This is a miscarriage of justice by a party that prides itself on championing social justice. It is a political decision that is not based on the facts of the case, which clearly show Wadsworth is not guilty.”

Wadsworth said: “I have been overwhelmed by the support I’ve received by many, many people, including those who have contributed thousands of pounds to my Crowdjusitice campaign to pay lawyers.” HE added: “I deplore anti-Semitism, anti-black racism, Islamophobia and all forms of prejudice, bigotry and discrimination that I have campaigned against all my political life and will continue to do so.”

He concluded: “With my brilliant legal team, who won the arguments hands down, I will be looking at all my options to legally challenge the decision.”

The Labour NCC panel of three party members who conducted Wadsworth’s three day hearing, was all-white. GBL is staggered that this issue wasn’t put before a representative panel made up of Wadsdworth’s peers.

We are deeply concerned the panel appeared to have fallen prey to pressure from the 40 white Labour MPs and Lords, led by Wes Streeting, who marched in Westminster against Wadsworth on the first day of his hearing.

GBL co-chair Deborah Hobson, a UNITE trade union activist, said: “Marc Wadsworth has been made a scapegoat in the battle between anti-Jeremy-Corbyn Labour zealots and those people who support a twice democratically elected Party leader. These right wingers will stop at nothing in their attempts to remove Corbyn.”

Wadsworth has been contacted by Labour Party members who told him they would resign if he was found guilty. He has urged them to stay in the party and help Jeremy Corbyn democratise it, so that the causes of socialism, internationalism, anti-racism, black representation and opposition to the witch hunt can be advanced.

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