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From The Socialist newspaper, 13 November 2019

Labour MP targeted by right wing stands as independent

Corbynista MP Chris Williamson, photo Johnwhitby/CC

Corbynista MP Chris Williamson, photo Johnwhitby/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Chris Williamson, MP for Derby North has announced that because of his ongoing suspension from the Labour Party, he has been forced to stand as an independent candidate in the general election.

Tony Tinley, a Unite official who has been endorsed by the right wing Labour First grouping, has been selected to stand for Labour in the constituency.

The Socialist Party is campaigning in this election for a Jeremy Corbyn-led government on socialist policies. Chris has been a strong supporter of Jeremy Corbyn and, for example, the democratic selection of candidates by means of mandatory reselection.

Because of this, he was targeted by the Blairite right wing of the Labour Party and falsely accused of 'anti-Semitism'.

Chris Williamson has a chequered past. As council leader he implemented privatisation, and even formed a coalition with Tory councillors in 2006 after Labour lost its majority. However, since being elected as an MP his trajectory has been to the left. His voting record in parliament and consistent support for Corbyn suggests that he would back a Corbyn government with anti-austerity policies.

This is something that, given Tony Blair's recent statement in the Financial Times attacking Corbyn and calling for votes only for "a core of good Labour MPs who will not be whipped into supporting policy they do not believe in", Labour MPs on the right of the party, including those affiliated to Labour First, would resist.

This year's annual general meeting (annual conference) of the RMT transport workers' union gave its full support to Chris Williamson as an MP who has stood up for workers' rights.

The Socialist Party believes Chris Williamson's candidature would strengthen the struggle of a Corbyn-led government to implement anti-austerity policies. We believe a conference of trade unionists, Labour Party members, community activists and socialists should be urgently called locally - within days if possible - to discuss building a campaign of support for Chris Williamson and the socialist policies on which to fight.

This could form an important part of the struggle to transform the Labour Party into a genuine workers' party, where all MPs are subject to recall and accountable to the workers' movement.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 13 November 2019:

What we think

Attacks show elite fear a Corbyn election win


Strike, protest, vote - Kick the Tories out

Labour MP targeted by right wing stands as independent

NHS in critical condition

Green Party offers no alternative for young people and climate change chaos

International socialist news and analysis

Bolivia: Right-wing coup ousts Morales

Kshama Sawant reelected in Seattle

Workplace news

'McStrikers' demand 15 an hour

UCU strikes: Union means business in fight against employers

Postal union determined to resist bosses' attacks

PCS union general secretary election: Enthusiastic support for Marion Lloyd

Frimley NHS Trust strikes: Health workers walkout against privatisation

Bradford libraries and museums: Unite members escalate action against cuts

RMT union members at SWR to walk out in December

Transport for London - Justice for cleaners!


Save education - Kick out the Tories

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Leicester campaigns to save our NHS

Fighting for free education, jobs, homes, and a future worth living

Socialism 2019 rally: "Socialist change needed to end climate change"

Trade union conference to force secret police disclosure

Barking: protest brings pledge to remove dangerous decking

Help socialist ideas spread this election: donate!

We saved Chatsworth Ward - two years on

I'm 90 and still a socialist

Readers' opinion

Readers' opinion: Twitter's banning of political ads threatens workers' voice

Theatre: On Bear Ridge - an examination of loss, set in a post-apocalyptic world

Socialism 2019 - what you thought


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