Labour Against the Witchhunt

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Group.png Labour Against the WitchhuntRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
FormationOctober 2017
InterestsJeremy Corbyn, Labour party

Labour Against the Witchhunt (LAW) was founded in October 2017 to oppose the purge of pro-Corbyn supporters in the Labour Party.

On 4 March 2019, LAW unreservedly condemned the suspension from the Labour Party of Jewish councillor for Bromborough Jo Bird. At a Justice4Marc meeting last year in Manchester (in solidarity with Marc Wadsworth) she made a light-hearted comment, stating:

Jewish Voice for Labour is calling for disciplinary hearings to be paused until a due process has been established, based on principles of natural justice. What I call Jew process”.

Clearly, the context of that quote shows that her joke was not anti-Semitic at all – but the exact opposite.[1]

Three main aims

LAW has three main aims:

1. The Labour Party must end the practice of automatic, instant, expulsion or suspension of Labour Party members:

All those summarily expelled or suspended without due process should be immediately reinstated.
An accused member should be given all the evidence submitted against them and be regarded as innocent until proven guilty. Legal representation costs to be paid by the party.
Disciplinary procedures should be carried out in accordance with the principles of natural justice, and be time-limited: charges not resolved within three months should be automatically dropped.
The first part of rule 2.1.4.B (‘Exclusions’) should be abolished: it bars from Labour Party membership anybody who “joins and/or supports a political organisation other than an official Labour group or other unit of the party” and has exclusively been used against left-wingers.

2. The Labour Party should reject the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, which in its list of examples conflates anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism and support for the rights of the Palestinian people. Instead, the Labour Party should adopt a simple, straightforward, definition of anti-Semitism, such as by Professor Brian Klug:

“Anti-Semitism is a form of hostility to Jews as Jews, where Jews are perceived as something other than what they are”.

3. The Compliance Unit should be replaced with a new body which will deal with complaints along the lines of the recommendations in the Chakrabarti Report, allowing all members appropriate due process.[2]

Solidarity with Chris Williamson MP

The suspension of Chris Williamson MP on 27 February 2019 is an absolute disgrace. We stand in full solidarity with Chris, who must be cleared as soon as possible by Labour’s “investigation” – though judging by how Jackie Walker, Marc Wadsworth, Tony Greenstein, Ken Livingstone and many, many more Corbyn supporters have been thrown under the bus, we have very little confidence that he will receive a fair one.

He is the latest victim of the witch-hunt by the right in the party whose main target is, of course, Jeremy Corbyn himself.

Jeremy Corbyn recently said:

Chris Williamson is a very good, very effective Labour MP. He’s a very strong anti-racist campaigner. He is not anti-Semitic.”

Corbyn was right. He should finally stand up and tell people like Jon Lansman and John McDonnell to stop joining in the witch-hunt – but support the thousands of left-wingers who have been investigated, suspended and expelled, many of them on false accusations of anti-Semitism.

This campaign to equate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism will only get worse, the closer we get to a general election. Trying to appease the right clearly does not work. If you fight, you might loose – but if you don’t fight, you have already lost.[3]

Support Chris Williamson

Five things you can do:

1. Use our draft motion in your Labour Party branch/CLP. Send it to Jennie Formby and to LAW.

2. Sign our petition demanding Chris’ reinstatement – and share it far and wide.[4] Tony Greenstein has also produced a petition.

3. Put on a showing of the WitchHunt documentary with Jackie Walker in your locality to better understand the background to this decision.

4. Email Jennie Formby to protest against this decision.

5. Join our 26 March 2019 protest party at the expulsion hearing of Jackie Walker (details to be confirmed, Facebook event here). Should Chris still be suspended, we will of course use the opportunity to demand his reinstatement.[5]


Related Document

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:All UK Labour leadership candidates sign up to stepped up pro-Zionist witch-huntblog post15 January 2020Robert StevensA day after posting the 10 points, the BoD tweeted that pro-Corbyn deputy leadership candidates Richard Burgon and Dawn Butler were “absent from the list of those who have signed the #TenPledges to tackle antisemitism in Labour.”


A document sourced from Labour Against the Witchhunt

TitleTypeSubject(s)Publication dateDescription
Document:We condemn the suspension of Jo Bird and the appointment of Lord FalconerArticleLouise Ellman
Labour Party
Jeremy Corbyn
Joan Ryan
Lord Levy
Margaret Hodge
Tom Watson
Tony Greenstein
Jewish Voice for Labour
Chris Williamson
Jennie Formby
Jackie Walker
Marc Wadsworth
Jo Bird
Charlie Falconer
4 March 2019As Ken Loach said: “If it looks like a witch hunt and behaves like a witch hunt – it may well be just that. This is intolerable and must end now.”