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Pete Lawrence - 25 Oct 2017
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In his usual outspoken and forthright fashion, he publicly blamed the Grenfell disaster on neoliberalism, citing 'Deregulation, privatisation and cuts. The three pillars of a violent idea called neoliberalism.'

We welcome Labour MP Chris Williamson to the Campfire sofa on Tuesday 31st October (20:00) 

Here is the forum thread to join where you can ask questions on the night or email them in advance to pete.lawrence@campfireconvention.com

The former bricklayer and devout vegan MP for Derby North is renowned as one of Jeremy Corbyn's staunchest allies, a man who is on a mission to see "the sunshine of socialism" translate into mainstream common-sense politics. He's one of the rare breed of politicians who is  not afraid to speak out and is no stranger to controversy. Notorious political commentator Guido Fawkes described him as a "nutjob Corbynista frontbencher". He riles his opponents in a way that very few politicians are able to.

After a narrow defeat in the 2015 General Election, Williamson regained his seat in June this year with a majority of 2,015 votes. On 3 July 2017, Williamson was appointed as Shadow Fire and Emergency Services Minister within the Shadow Home Office team.

In an interview with The Guardian in late August 2017, Williamson said allegations about the existence of antisemitism within the Labour Party and criticism of Corbyn's approach to the crisis in Venezuela were "proxy wars and bullshit". Williamson said: “I’m not saying it never ever happens but it is a really dirty, lowdown trick, particularly the antisemitism smears. Many people in the Jewish community are appalled by what they see as the weaponisation of antisemitism for political ends"

In his usual outspoken and forthright fashion, he publicly blamed the Grenfell disaster on neoliberalism, citing 'Deregulation, privatisation and cuts. The three pillars of a violent idea called neoliberalism.'

He has also spoken out about the idea of women only train carriages, floated by Jeremy Corbyn after he became party leader. Some Labour MPs, including Jess Phillips and Stella Creasy are critical of the idea, along with the Women's Equality Movement. 

In a New Statesman interview this June, Williamson reflects on the damage done at the time “New Labour’s dead,. It’s dead, buried and finished. It's a regrettable chapter in our history. Historians will think ‘my God, what were they doing?!’” he cries.

He admits that people warned him to “disassociate yourself from Jeremy if you’re going to win” when he began campaigning. But he tells me he would “have sooner lost than gone down that road”.

But he has strong words for those who were more sceptical, saying they “let down their members” and lamenting that “if they’d been more supportive over the intervening period, then we’d have probably got over the line”.

Williamson calls on all the Corbynsceptic MPs to apologise: “They should be down on their bended knees and apologising, in fact. Not just to Jeremy but to the entire Labour movement.”

He has been vegan since 1976 and has teamed up with Animal Aid to help promote a plant-based diet

 

His regular 'The Week in Westminster' video updates are essential viewing

 

Wikipedia :

Williamson is a staunch ally of the Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn and has been described as the "most pro-Jeremy Corbyn candidate in England’s most marginal constituency".[12] Corbyn has described Williamson as a "very great friend", saying that his defeat at the 2015 general election was "a shock" and "the worst result of that night".[13] Williamson expressed that his campaign in Derby North would be a "test case for Corbynism".[14] and Corbyn came to campaign for Williamson on 6 May 2017 during the snap general election campaign.

At the 2017 general election, Williamson regained his former seat from Amanda Solloway of the Conservative Party with a majority of 2,015 votes. On 3 July 2017, Williamson was appointed as Shadow Fire and Emergency Services Minister within the Shadow Home Office team.[15][16]

Williamson returned in August 2017 to Corbyn's suggestion, during his first leadership campaign, for women-only train carriages to reduce sexual assaults; reported incidents have doubled since 2012.[17] Labour colleagues Jess Phillips and Stella Creasy were critical of the idea.[18] The Women's Equality Party also criticised his comments.[19]

In an interview with Rowena Mason of The Guardian in late August 2017, Williamson said allegations about the existence of antisemitism within the Labour Party and criticism of Corbyn's approach to the crisis in Venezuela were "proxy wars and bullshit". According to Williamson: “I’m not saying it never ever happens but it is a really dirty, lowdown trick, particularly the antisemitism smears. Many people in the Jewish community are appalled by what they see as the weaponisation of antisemitism for political ends".[20] Marie van der Zyl, the Board of Deputiesvice-president said he should "show solidarity with those suffering racism within his own party rather than blaming the victims". Williamson later described antisemitism as being "utterly repugnant and a scourge on society, which is why I stand in absolute solidarity with anyone who is subjected to antisemitic abuse".[21] In a later September article in Tribune magazine he wrote that his critics "accusations of anti-Semitism were positively sinister" and "highly offensive and hurtful" in suggesting "that I was an anti-Semite myself, yet I have fought racism all my adult life".[22]

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