Chris Williamson has been suspended from Labour over his comments on antisemitism within the party and the whip has been withdrawn.
A decision was taken earlier this afternoon to issue the backbench MP with a notice of investigation, but not to suspend him.
According to party sources, Labour staff then fully reviewed his “pattern of behaviour” and general secretary Jennie Formby chose to suspend him pending investigation.
The Tribune group of 38 MPs had just sent a letter to Formby demanding his suspension.
Dozens of Labour MPs, London mayor Sadiq Khan, GMB leader Tim Roache, HOPE not hate, the Jewish Labour Movement and deputy leader Tom Watson all called for further disciplinary action to be taken against Williamson today.
The Prime Minister also raised the issue at PMQs and criticised Jeremy Corbyn for leading a party that had lost Luciana Berger but was keeping Chris Williamson.
The calls for suspension came after footage emerged of Williamson telling a Momentum event: “The party that has done more to stand up to racism is now being demonised as a racist, bigoted party.
“I have got to say I think our party’s response has been partly responsible for that because in my opinion… we’ve backed off too much, we have given too much ground, we have been too apologetic.”
The MP for Derby North also said he celebrated the resignations of Labour MPs last week by singing the 1980s Kool and the Gang hit Celebration at “full blast” in his office.
The videos were revealed by the Yorkshire Post last night, shortly after Jewish News reported that Williamson had plans to host a Jewish Voice for Labour event in parliament and screen a film by Jackie Walker, who is suspended from the party over her own comments on antisemitism.
Chris Williamson has commented: “It’s a process that the party is going to go through and I will be working to clear my name.”