Month: July 2019

WATCH Chris Williamson tells a Sheffield Momentum

first_imgWATCH: Chris Williamson tells a Sheffield Momentum meeting that Labour has been “too apologetic” about anti-Semitism… pic.twitter.com/zxtKdHQPvw— Liz Bates (@wizbates) February 26, 2019The Labour Party has been “too apologetic” in its response to antisemitism claims, according to backbencher Chris Williamson.In footage revealed by the Yorkshire Post, Williamson tells a Momentum event in Sheffield: “The party that has done more to stand up to racism is now being demonised as a racist, bigoted party.“I have got to say I think our party’s response has been partly responsible for that because in my opinion… we’ve backed off too much, we have given too much ground, we have been too apologetic.”He also says he celebrated the resignations of Labour MPs last week and sang the 1980s Kool and the Gang hit Celebration at “full blast” in his office.Labour MP Siobhain McDonagh, who is thought to be considering leaving Labour, criticised the comments, while Kate Green said she was “sickened”.A party spokesperson said: “This is deeply offensive. Downplaying the problem of antisemitism makes it harder for us to tackle it and celebrating a fellow MP’s departure is completely inappropriate. Chris Williamson should apologise.”Deputy leader Tom Watson has revealed that he is writing to Labour’s chief whip asking that the whip be removed from Williamson, who Watson says has brought the party into disrepute.The Williamson videos emerged last night, shortly after Jewish News revealed the MP’s plans to host a Jewish Voice for Labour event in parliament and screen a film by Jackie Walker, who is suspended from the party.Labour MP Ruth Smeeth described the room booking by Williamson as “outrageous” and Tom Watson said he had reported the matter to the chief whip and general secretary.A Labour Party spokesperson commented: “It’s completely inappropriate to book a room for an event about an individual who is suspended from the party and subject to ongoing disciplinary procedures. This falls below the standards we expect of MPs.”Tags:Labour /Chris Williamson /Antisemitism /Jackie Walker /last_img read more

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Sign up to LabourLists morning email for everythi

first_imgSign up to LabourList’s morning email for everything Labour, every weekday morning.Good morning. The LabourList local elections 2019 liveblog has been running since 10pm, and it’s still going. If you’ve not been following our updates overnight, you’re in luck as I’m going to sum up the situation so far now. We’re not halfway there yet: just 111 of 248 councils have declared. Labour has lost control of two councils compared to 2015 – Hartlepool (which was already under no overall control due to very recent resignations) and Bolsolver (Dennis Skinner territory, now NOC) – and we’re down 79 seats overall. The Tories have lost control of 16 councils and have a net loss of nearly 450 seats.It’s been a terrible night for the Tories and a disappointing one for Labour, while Lib Dems, Greens and Independents can claim victory. It’s clear that voters are punishing the main parties at the polls, and the phrase ‘a plague on both your houses’ has never been used so frequently than it has over the last 12 hours on TV. We shouldn’t overlook the importance of local issues, particularly planning controversies that have benefitted small parties and anti-development Independents. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look as if Labour has been very successful in shifting the focus of voters from those concerns or national priorities to the injustice of austerity and the idea that they should punish Tories in response. That was always going to be tough to achieve.Let’s consider the context of these results first. Call it spin if you like: there are some crucial factors to take into account that are largely being ignored by mainstream commentators. With nothing going on in Wales or London (except by-elections), many of these councils are in rural areas and Conservative strongholds – where Labour is weakest. These seats were last contested at the 2015 general election, when Lib Dems had their worst ever council performance, and that was always going to be reflected in strong gains for them this year. And, as ever, Labour has lost the expectation management competition. The Tories have been busy promoting an entirely unrealistic figure of 1,000 seats lost, which didn’t match up with public polling (or Labour’s private forecasts, I’m told), and almost every pundit has been happy to repeat the obviously ridiculous Tory spin. Be wary of comments along the lines of ‘the Tories have done badly but it could have been much worse’.This was always going to be a difficult set of elections, as top Labour figures will be emphasising today. There are bits of good news. Labour has won control of Trafford, a key target. The Tories have lost control of Peterborough, which is a positive sign ahead of the parliamentary by-election – Lisa Forbes, standing for Labour on June 6th, will be pleased. Progress has been made in Medway, where the Labour group is at its biggest since 1997, gained a couple of councillors in Southampton and Luke Pollard is very happy in Plymouth. But we have lost ground in ones-to-watch including Ashfield, Bolton, Derby, the Wirral, Walsall and Swindon. This is not good at all, with Labour particularly shedding votes in the North. In Stoke-on-Trent, Labour lost five council seats, and local MPs Gareth Snell and Ruth Smeeth did not hold back in attacking Labour’s pro-public vote stance.Far from benefiting from the Brexit chaos overseen by this Tory government, Labour has suffered. You’d think identifying this as the problem would help, but quite the opposite is true. The only consensus forming within the party is that these results show Labour’s ‘constructive ambiguity’ Brexit strategy has run out of road – and yet both camps will use the evidence to back up their own side of the argument. In other words, everyone is digging in. Remain party gains? Labour backers of another referendum say: we need to be more anti-Brexit! Losses in heavily Leave areas? Let’s pass a deal and move on! (John McDonnell’s tweet is already making waves.) The only thing everyone can agree on is that Brexit must be “sorted” – but people are now even further apart on whether that means implementing it or scrapping it.Results are still pouring in and we can look forward to big Tory losses later. Keep refreshing our liveblog for updates and analysis.Sign up to LabourList’s morning email for everything Labour, every weekday morning.Tags:Local elections 2019 /last_img read more

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STARTERS ORDERS Friday

first_imgWhat’s your view?CALL STAR SPORTS ON 08000 521 321 [dropcap]W[/dropcap]elcome to Starters Orders. Our daily midday update from the trading room at Star Sports with our key market movers for the day across all sports.Friday 22 JanuaryRACING1.15 Market RasenAbbreviate 100/30 > 9/42.00 LingfieldBoomerang Bob 4/1 > 9/42.55 Market RasenKassis 3/1 > 5/23.05 LingfieldPrimrose Valley 12/1 > 7/14.35 WolverhamptonPoint North 10/1 > 6/15.30 DundalkInvestmentsuccess 9/4 > 7/45.45 WolverhamptonBaker 7/1 > 4/19.00 DundalkDashing Chief 6/1 > 9/2LIVE FOOTBALLTONIGHTScottish Premiership19:45 BT Sport 1 / BT Sport 1 HD1/2 Aberdeen 6/1 Dundee 16/5 DRAWSATURDAYChampionship12:30 Sky Sports 1 / Sky Sports 1 HD5/4 QPR 12/5 Wolves 9/4 DRAWPremier League12:45 BT Sport 1 / BT Sport 1 HD / BT Sport Ultra HD3/1 Norwich City 19/20 Liverpool 12/5 DRAW(All prices subject to fluctuation)last_img read more

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