By Alistair Farrow
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‘Attack on me was a proxy attack on Corbyn,’ says expelled Labour member Marc Wadsworth

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Issue 2603
Anti-racist activist Marc Wadsworth
Anti-racist activist Marc Wadsworth (Pic: Socialist Worker)

Marc Wadsworth has hit out at his expulsion from the Labour Party in an exclusive interview with Socialist Worker. He was falsely accused of antisemitism.

Marc said that the attacks from the right on Jeremy Corbyn “can be put right through mass action.”

“There is a way forward,” he argued. “The movement needs to rise up now and tell truth to power.”

Marc was expelled from the party after video footage was released of him accusing right wing MP Ruth Smeeth of working “hand in hand” with The Daily Telegraph newspaper in June 2016.

Smeeth initially claimed Marc had used “traditional antisemitic slurs to attack me for being part of a ‘media conspiracy’.”

That claim was later taken down from her social media accounts. That’s because it has no basis.

A video of Marc’s criticism of Smeeth, used as evidence in his expulsion, has gone viral. Nowhere in the video does Marc say anything antisemitic.

“All I was doing was challenging a right-wing opponent of Jeremy Corbyn,” Marc told Socialist Worker.

Smeeth has worked as the director of public affairs and campaigns for the Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre.

“I stand on my record as an anti-racist, as a socialist, as an internationalist,” Marc said. He described himself as “someone who wants to see this country run by the many, not the few—by our class.”

A model motion has been produced defending Marc (see below). He said, “I hope as many branches as possible—particularly trade unions—pass this resolution. We can win on this.”

Marc was clear that the attack on him is a “proxy attack on Jeremy himself. The main target is the left wing leader of the Labour Party, who I support and have known for over 40 years.”

The smears over antisemitism come from the Labour right, many of whom have not shied away from whipping up other forms of racism. Marc pointed out the hypocrisy of their attacking a prominent anti-racist campaigner, arguing his record “speaks for itself.”

“I totally and utterly abhor antisemitism and all forms of racism,” he said. “That includes anti-black racism, which is rife. It includes the treatment of the Windrush generation, which shows this government is rotten to the core.”

This branch believes that
The decision by Labour’s National Constitutional Committee to expel anti-racist activist Marc Wadsworth from Labour was without foundation. Criticising a Labour MP, and opponent of Jeremy Corbyn, for working “hand in hand” with the Daily Telegraph is not a crime, nor is it anti-semitic.
Ken Livingstone, who is currently facing Labour Party internal disciplinary charges, has not made anti-semitic remarks and has done nothing to justify expulsion from the Labour Party.

This branch further believes that
Antisemitism, wherever it appears, is wholly unacceptable and has to be tackled, including in the Labour Party, or in a trade union.
That the ferocity of the current accusations of antisemitism in the Labour Party is not related to the small incidence of antisemitism to be found in the party, but is driven by attempts to undermine the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.
Such attacks come not just from the media and Tories, but also from a group of backbench Labour MPs hostile to Corbyn’s leadership.
It is not anti-semitic to criticise Israel’s action towards the Palestinians.

This branch calls for
Marc Wadsworth to be reinstated to the Labour Party.
Our union to raise this issue at every appropriate level of the Labour Party.
This motion to be sent to the regional committee/council and the National Executive for endorsement.

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