Labour MPs clash over anti-Semitism hearing

By Aubrey Allegretti, Political Reporter
Dozens of Labour MPs have accompanied their Jewish colleague to a hearing that will determine whether a party activist will be kicked out for anti-Semitism.
Ruth Smeeth was flanked by about 30 fellow MPs as she made her way from Parliament to Church House in Westminster on Wednesday.
The inquiry will decide whether Marc Wadsworth should be expelled from the party.Ms Smeeth complained about Mr Wadsworth after he accused her of "working hand-in-hand" with the Daily Telegraph at the launch of a report on tackling anti-Semitism in Labour.The march of MPs was met by counter-protests when they arrived at the hearing.
Labour MPs clash over anti-Semitism hearing

Marc Wadsworth is fighting not to be expelled from Labour
A woman dressed as a witch accused them of conducting a "witch hunt" as demonstrators chanted "reinstate Marc Wadsworth".She told The Times: "I am one of the witches. I was suspended from Labour during the 2016 leadership election... I'm being investigated again."Labour MP Wes Streeting later described the scenes as "appalling".
Labour MPs clash over anti-Semitism hearing

Wes Streeting described the counter-protest as 'appalling'
Mr Streeting wrote on Twitter: "Victims of abuse giving evidence shouldn't have to walk through a protest to do so.
"I'm proud of Labour MPs and peers who stood by Ruth Smeeth this morning."That it was necessary to accompany her through a protest is an appalling state of affairs."Chris Williamson, a former Labour frontbencher and close ally of Jeremy Corbyn, is attending the meeting as a character witness for Mr Wadsworth.
Labour MPs clash over anti-Semitism hearing

Chris Williamson is a character witness for Mr Wadsworth
Before his hearing, the suspended activist claimed he was "totally and utterly opposed to anti-Semitism" and "all forms of bigotry and hatred".Mr Wadsworth has told Sky News he did not know Ms Smeeth was Jewish when he made the "working hand-in-hand" comment.He said: "I've endured almost two years of trial by media.
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"I've had to correct a lot of incorrect reporting and as a journalist of 40 years I'm astounded that some colleagues have reported this in the way they have."Asked whether he thought he would get a fair trial, Mr Wadworth said: "I reserve my view on that until I've seen the panel and how they're going to handle this."
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