THE LEADER of Harlow Council has responded to a number of questions surrounding the planned appearance of suspended MP Chris Williamson at The Essex Skipper on Friday night.
Cllr Mark Ingall has sent a copy of the letter to YH.
Dear Mr Halfon, Mr Johnson and Mr Perrin,
Thank you for your letter, recieved late last night, which I have passed onto Laura as requested. She has assured me she will respond, so I will restrict myself to answering your four questions on behalf of the Labour Group of Councillors, specifically the four Councillors who are Momentum members. I have spoken to each of them and can confirm the following.
1) All four of the Labour Councillors who are also members of Momentum have confirmed to me that they do not support Chris Williamson’s stance on antisemitism in the Labour Party.
2) All four of the Labour Councillors who are also Momentum members have confirmed to me that they were not involved in organising the Chris Williamson event planned for the Skipper this coming Friday
3) None of the four Labour Councillors who are also Momentum members support Harlow Momentum hosting this event, in fact they have each assured me they have already asked for it to be cancelled.
4) I am not aware that any of these four Labour Councillors intend to resign from Momentum, my belief is they will in all probability remain members so that they can argue that the event is cancelled.
I have answered your questions fully and in detail and I hope you appreciate my candour. I hope also that you are, to some extent, reassured by the answers I am able to give.
When I first became aware of this event, I made it clear that I did not support it. I said I believed it had been organised by a very small group of individuals and that it had not been authorised by either Harlow Labour Party or the Labour Group of Councillors. I stand by these comments. This event should never have been organised and I hope it does not go ahead.
My Group of Councillors are united in saying that anti-semitism, like any form of racism, has no place in any political party. A sentiment I am sure you will want to support.”
YH also sent Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate, Laura McAlpine a number of questions on the matter. We have yet to receive a reply.
Update: Taking to Facebook, Momentum Harlow wrote: “In light of discussions with our Labour and Momentum comrades over the last few days, and in the interests of party unity, Harlow Momentum has decided to withdraw its support for the planned anti-austerity event with Chris Williamson on June 7th. This follows a democratic vote at our meeting last night (3rd June).”
“We fully support Jennie Formby and Jeremy Corbyn’s efforts to reform and improve the Party’s processes, and will respect those efforts as the suspension and investigation run their course.”
“It was categorically not our intention to cause offence, rather to draw attention to important issues around the never-ending austerity that has impacted the lives of so many.”
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