Local Conservatives have written to the North East Derbyshire Labour Party to ask them to clarify their position on a wide range of issues following their invitation for the controversial Derby North Labour MP, Chris Williamson, to visit Clay Cross in the constituency.

Mr Williamson is due to be in Clay Cross with Labour’s local Parliamentary Candidate for a canvassing session tomorrow (Saturday 10th November).

North Derbyshire Conservatives’ Chairman, Cllr Alex Dale highlighted within his letter to the local Labour Party a number of reports of what he felt were “completely unacceptable, appalling and controversial remarks and actions” made by Mr Williamson, including:

  • Suggesting that Council Tax should be doubled for some homes
  • Proudly boasting during a speech that “I’m damned if I’m going to be singing the national anthem”
  • Attending Pro-Assad rallies under the guise of the “Stop the War” campaign
  • Indicating his support for the brutal, murderous and dictatorial Maduro regime in Venezuela, describing coverage of the unrest within the country as “hysterical media hyperbole”.
  • Defending and supporting notorious Labour and Momentum members and activists who have been accused of antisemitism, including:
    • Jackie Walker (who was twice suspended from the Labour Party for criticising Holocaust Memorial Day),
    • Marc Wardsworth (who abused Jewish Labour MP Ruth Smeeth in 2016)
    • And Peter Willsman (who was recorded calling some Jews “Trump fanatics”)
  • Denying that Labour has an antisemitism problem, calling cases of antisemitic abuse “smears” and “dirty lowdown tricks” being used for “political ends” and latterly claiming that antisemitism had been “weaponised” in a “proxy war”.
  • Repeatedly threatening his own more moderate Labour Parliamentary colleagues with de-selection

Commenting Cllr Dale said: “You only have to look at some of the absolutely vile things Chris Williamson is reported to have said and done to realise that he doesn’t speak for local people in North East Derbyshire - and nor does he share our values.

“This is a man who was sacked from the Labour frontbench for being too hard-left for even Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell to handle.

“Antisemitism has absolutely no place in our society and the reports of his support and defence of those accused of antisemitism within his own party are completely unacceptable. The bully-boy, thuggish tactics of intimidation deployed by Momentum and hard-left MPs against some of their own more moderate colleagues must be stopped and we must ask ourselves, what sort of message is the local Labour party sending out to voters when it invites someone like Chris Williamson to North East Derbyshire? That’s why I’ve written to them to ask them to clarify their position on some of these important issues.”

The Leader of North East Derbyshire District Council’s Conservative Group, Cllr Martin Thacker added: “I don't believe that people are interested in being associated with the politics of yesteryear, which do not reflect the views of local people. This visit clearly demonstrates how Labour are out of touch with the residents of North East Derbyshire.”