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Labour Supporter Tells LBC Chris Williamson Has "Fought Racists, Literally On The Streets"
28 June 2019, 12:18 | Updated: 28 June 2019, 12:22
Prominent Labour Activist and Councillor Tosh McDonald told LBC he's standing by Chris Williamson, the Labour MP at the heart of a row over anti-Semitism.
Speaking to Nick Ferrari the Councillor said he's standing "shoulder to shoulder" with Chris Williamson, he said: "He's a man I know every well, he's a man I respect, and he's a man who I know has not got a racist bone in his body."
The Labour supporter said Mr Williamson had "fought racists, literally on the streets."
The Derby MP was suspended from the party after saying they had "given too much ground" in the face of criticism over anti-Semitism in the party.
When Nick asked Mr McDonald if he agreed that the "Labour Party has given too much ground," the Labour activist said he didn't agree but he thought the party were "not being vocal enough" on what they are doing to stamp out anti-Semitism.
Nick asked the councillor how many people had been expelled from the Labour Party over anti-Semitism.
"I think about 96 people have been suspended," he said.
Nick Ferrari asked how many people had been expelled.
To which the Labour supporter answered two.
Nick Ferrari said: "For the level of problems there are, it's not a particularly high strike rate."
"Well, it depends how bad the problems are," Mr McDonald, "there has been 1,106 referrals."
He said that 433 of those were "found to have nothing to do with Party members," in 220 of those cases the party found there was "no case to answer" while 453 remained.
The Labour member said he did not think that equated to a "massive problem" with anti-Semitism. But added that one anti-Semite is "one too many."
He told LBC that Chris Williamson was getting "massive" support from within the grassroots members, "the real members of our party."
He said: "You've got to also remember that these same MPs who've signed this letter, signed a letter four months ago saying that he should be suspended and go through the disciplinary procedure."
Nick Ferrari asked if it wasn't "faintly absurd" that Keith Vaz had said the decision to reinstate Chris Williamson needs to be reconsidered, "despite voting for it himself" Nick noted that Mr Vaz is also currently the subject of a "sleaze inquiry." Nick said" You don't think this is a farce?"
"I don't think it's a farce" Mr McDonald said, "the thing that is a farce is the fact Chris Williamson has been waiting four months for this hearing."
Nick pointed out that Alastair Campbell was "gone in within hours" for voting for the Liberal Democrats.
"That's right," Mr McDonald said, "that's an automatic expulsion," adding "that's in the rule book."
Watch the whole exchange in the video at the top of the page.