Labour activist expelled over anti-Semitism row

By Alan McGuinness, Political Reporter
A Labour Party member has been expelled for verbally attacking an MP at the launch of a report into anti-Semitism.
Marc Wadsworth accused Ruth Smeeth of "working hand-in-hand" with the Daily Telegraph at the event in 2016.
Labour said Mr Wadsworth's comment was found to have breached party rules and he had therefore been kicked out.Ms Smeeth, who is Jewish, said she felt "relieved" that the matter had "finally been resolved".
Labour activist expelled over anti-Semitism row

MP Ruth Smeeth
"Abuse, bullying and intimidation have no place in our movement, as today's announcement has proven," she said."I hope that this decision represents the first step towards a return to the values of decency and respect throughout the Labour Party."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."Dozens of Ms Smeeth's Labour colleagues accompanied her to a hearing on the case earlier this week.
Labour activist expelled over anti-Semitism row

About 30 MPs marched with Ruth Smeeth to the hearing
She was flanked by about 30 fellow MPs as she made her way from Parliament to Church House in Westminster on Wednesday. The march was met by counter-protests when they arrived at the hearing.Mr Wadsworth told Sky News the decision was a "travesty" and a "huge injustice".
He has previously said he did not know Ms Smeeth was Jewish when he made the "working hand-in-hand" comment.Chris Williamson, a former Labour frontbencher and close ally of Jeremy Corbyn, attended the hearing into the case as a character witness for Mr Wadsworth.
Labour activist expelled over anti-Semitism row

Chris Williamson slammed the decision
Mr Williamson said he was "astonished" by the verdict, adding: "It flies in the face of the evidence that was presented and offends against the principles of natural justice."A party spokesman said Mr Wadsworth was found to have breached clause 2.1.8 of Labour's rule book.This states that "no member of the Party shall engage in conduct which in the opinion of the NEC is prejudicial, or in any act which in the opinion of the NEC is grossly detrimental to the Party".This includes actions which "might reasonably be seen to demonstrate hostility or prejudice based on age; disability; gender reassignment or identity; marriage and civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief; sex; or sexual orientation".
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The clause adds that these include incidents involving "racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia or otherwise racist language, sentiments, stereotypes or actions, sexual harassment, bullying or any form of intimidation towards another person on the basis of a protected characteristic".More follows...
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