Readmit Williamson and adopt an independent complaints process, say LabourList readers

Sienna Rodgers

LabourList readers believe that Chris Williamson MP should be readmitted to Labour – and also that the party should have an independent complaints procedure, according to our latest survey.

Last week, Williamson had his suspension from the party lifted and the whip restored following a decision by a three-member panel on Labour’s ruling body. Over 140 parliamentarians then demanded that Corbyn intervene and take action against the MP, and Keith Vaz – a panel member who voted for the decision – said the ruling could not stand.

Williamson has now had the whip withdrawn again pending further decision by Labour’s national executive committee (NEC). This is expected to lead to his case being referred to Labour’s ultimate disciplinary body, the national constitutional committee (NCC).

Asked whether the Derby North MP – who was originally suspended over the claim that Labour was “too apologetic” about antisemitism – should be readmitted to Labour, 61% of 10,066 readers who took the survey said ‘Yes’ while only 31% said ‘No’.

LabourList readers also said they believed that Labour should have an independent complaints procedure, with nearly 74% of respondents saying the party should implement one and only 17% disagreeing.

The call for an independent system is often heard from party members who are against Williamson being readmitted, but the result would suggest that people from across Labour are concerned about political interference in or influence on the disciplinary process.

Further analysis of the results shows that pro-Williamson respondents were 63% in favour of an independent process, while anti-Williamson respondents were almost entirely in favour at 94%.

On Brexit, respondents were asked whether and when Labour should come out in support of Remain as well as another referendum in all circumstances. 

Although Jeremy Corbyn has committed to backing a public vote on any deal, with “real choices for both leave and remain voters”, the leadership has not endorsed Remain as its preferred outcome. This would be a huge shift in policy as the party has been supporting a ‘soft’ Brexit deal.

Survey respondents were divided over the best course of action on Brexit. The biggest group, 34%, said Labour should “back Remain now”, while 33% said Labour should make the decision at a later date – either following further consultation or conference in September.

A total of 30% said the party should not back Remain, or should neither back Remain nor another referendum.

LabourList readers would rather see Jeremy Hunt win the Tory leadership race than Boris Johnson – mostly because they see him as the “least worst” option. 

Those who picked frontrunner Johnson as their preferred winner made their choice on the basis that he would be “easiest to beat”.

1. This week, Chris Williamson MP was readmitted to the Labour Party and had the whip restored. The Labour whip has now been withdrawn again pending further decision by the national executive committee (NEC).

Do you believe that Chris Williamson should be readmitted to Labour?

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  1. Yes – 61.3% (6,169)
  2. No – 31% (3,117)
  3. Don’t know – 7.8% (780)

2. Should Labour have an independent complaints procedure?

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  1. Yes – 73.8% (7,429)
  2. No – 17.0% (1,710)
  3. Don’t know – 9.2% (927)

3. Labour has committed to backing a public vote on any Brexit deal, but not to supporting Remain in that referendum. When should Labour back Remain?

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  1. Labour should back Remain now – 34.3% (3,455)
  2. Labour should wait until conference makes a decision in September – 22.3% (2,249)
  3. Labour should only back a public vote on any Brexit deal, not Remain – 15.8% (1,593)
  4. Labour should not back Remain or another referendum – 13.8% (1,392)
  5. Labour should take the decision before conference after consulting with trade unions and members of the ruling body – 10.9% (1,096)
  6. Don’t know – 2.8% (281)

4. There are just two candidates left in the Tory leadership race. Who would you prefer to see win the contest? Why?

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Readers were asked which candidate they would most like to win the Tory leadership contest, and then why they had chosen that candidate. They could choose from the following options: Because they would be the easiest candidate for Jeremy Corbyn to beat in a general election, Because they would make the least worst Prime Minister, Neither/other or Both.

Easiest to beat Least worst Both Neither/other Grand total
Boris Johnson 3,182 210 409 901 4,702
Jeremy Hunt 545 2,737 1,243 839 5,364
Grand total 3,727 2,947 1,652 1,740 10,066

The survey was open from 4.30pm on Sunday 31st June until 4.30pm on Monday 1st July. The results are unweighted and from a self-selected sample of readers. Thank you to all 10,066 readers who took part.

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