(JTA) — A British Labour Party lawmaker was suspended from the party two days after a five-month suspension was lifted.
Chris Williamson, a key ally of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, had been suspended for saying the party is “too apologetic” over anti-Semitism. It reportedly is not his only offense.
Williamson was readmitted on Wednesday as he awaits an ethics review, but then suspended again on Friday after questions about his reinstatement prior to the ethics review and assurances that Williamson’s case would be on the agenda for the next meeting of its disputes committee, which handles such reviews, according to reports.
Following his readmission, over 100 lawmakers and peers signed an open letter to Corbyn calling on him to intervene and review a decision to readmit Williamson.
The letter called on Corbyn to “show leadership” by asking for “this inappropriate, offensive and reputationally damaging decision to be overturned and reviewed.”
Corbyn told reporters he was not involved in Williamson’s reinstatement and defended the party’s handling of anti-Semitism, saying Labour takes the issue “very, very seriously,” the Times of Israel reported.
“Anyone that makes anti-Semitic remarks can expect to be at the very least reprimanded and, if they are very serious and they engage in anti-Semitic activity, then they are expelled from the party,” Sky News quoted Corbyn as saying.
Since his election in 2015 to head Labour, Corbyn has fought allegations that his critical attitude toward Israel and alleged tolerance of anti-Semitism have injected Jew-hatred into the heart of the party.
Labour is being investigated by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, a government watchdog, for thousands of cases of anti-Semitic hate speech in its ranks since 2015.