Wales politics

Owen Smith: Solidarity tweet for Williamson 'shameful'

Owen Smith
Image caption Owen Smith MP said anti-semitism needed to be "stamped on with the fullest authority"

A Labour MP has said it is "shameful" a grassroots Labour campaign group tweeted in solidarity with Chris Williamson after he was re-suspended from the party.

Owen Smith, the MP for Pontypridd, said "questions need to be asked" about Welsh Labour Grassroots' tweet.

It comes after Chris Williamson was re-suspended for remarks about the party's handling of anti-semitism.

The suspension happened two days after he was re-admitted to the party.

Speaking to BBC Radio Wales' Sunday Supplement programme, Mr Smith said: "We need to be absolutely clear we have a zero tolerance for any sort of racism in our ranks or anti-semitism.

"Wherever it emerges, it needs to be stamped on with the fullest authority."

Mr Smith said he did not think "there is a particular issue in Wales" but there are people "who harbour these views in all parts of the Labour party".

Mr Williamson's February suspension happened when he said Labour had "given too much ground" in the face of criticism over the issue, but later said he "deeply regrets" the remarks.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said an independent panel of three people took the decision to let the Derby North MP back into the party this week with a reprimand.

After he was suspended on Friday for the second time, Mr Williamson tweeted: "I'm naturally concerned by the lack of due process and consistency in how my case is being handled," adding that he would do his "utmost" to fight for his membership.

Welsh Labour Grassroots tweeted "Solidarity with @DerbyChrisW" on Saturday.

Mr Smith said he though Mr Williamson's suspensions were "right" and "I don't think anyone should express sympathy with those views".

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