AT least eight elected officials in Wales have now had their party membership suspended in the wake of the EHRC report into anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.
Since the move three weeks ago, one of the suspended officials has since left the party, but the other seven are all members of the Welsh Labour Grassroots group, the Welsh affiliate of the far-left ‘radical’ campaign group Momentum which was formed to support Jeremy Corbyn during his leadership bid.
Among those suspended are officials of Cardiff North, Cardiff West – represented at the Senedd by First Minister Mark Drakeford – Ceredigion and Brecon & Radnorshire, as well as the secretary of Machynlleth branch in the Montgomeryshire seat.
Clive Haswell, who chaired Cardiff North Constituency Labour Party (CLP) has also been suspended after allowing two motions to be debated by members – one expressing solidarity with Mr Corbyn, who had the Labour whip withdrawn at Westminster after he suggested concerns about anti-Semitism in the party had been exaggerated, and the other raising concerns about freedom of speech within the party.
Objecting to his suspension, Mr Haswell said: “It is my duty to ensure that members are able to discuss issues of concern to them.
“For many people, the ability to have open debate about important issues of the day is one of the reasons why people join the Labour Party.
“In allowing these two motions to be discussed, I was simply giving members the right to express their opinions and performing the role required of me as the chair by Labour Party rules. They were both passed overwhelmingly.
“There was nothing anti-Semitic in the motions or offensive in any way. I fully support the party leadership’s drive to eliminate anti-Semitism from the party. But I disagree with my suspension and cannot accept that my actions have been ‘grossly detrimental to the Labour Party’, to quote the rule that is being used against me.”
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