Chris Williamson shouts 'don't accuse me of being an antisemite' at student during University of Nottingham talk

Suspended MP invites student to 'come down here' in angry exchange


Suspended MP Chris Williamson shouted "don't accuse me of being an antisemite" at a student who had done just that, in a testy exchange at the University of Nottingham.

The Jewish News published a recording of the event - which went ahead last week despite protests from Jewish groups - that reveals Mr Williamson reacted angrily after a student said he was an antisemite and accused him of "trolling the Jewish community endlessly on Twitter" and being "a member of a sewer of racist groups including Palestine Live".

The student received appluse as he asked: "Are you the most unlucky anti-racism campaigner or are you just an outright liar?" 

Mr Williamson, who remains suspended from Labour over his repeated interventions in the antisemitism debate, called it an "abusive question".

He said: "I will take no lectures from people who attack my credentials as an anti-racism campaigner.

“When I was young man in the 1970s as an apprentice brick-layer on building sites, I risked my personal safety. I nearly got my head kicked in on a few occasions for challenging racists.

“I have the scars to prove it, so don’t come here and accuse me of being an antisemite or a racist. It’s an absolute slur."

Later in the recording, Mr Williamson tries to set out his reasoning as to why Labour is not a racist party, saying: "I you are a screaming racist or an antisemite, why would you join a party with a tradition of fighting racism?

"Surely you'd be far better off joining a fascist party like the British National Party or one of those sort of organisations.

"So I think the Labour Party has been smeared."

Mr Williamson adds he has defended people "falsely accused" including Jackie Walker, the Labour activist who was expelled over her comments about Jewish people's role in the slave trade and Holocaust Memorial Day.

Mr Williamson's legal challenge to his suspension from Labour failed this week, as the High Court found the discplinary action he faces should continue.

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