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Labour activist wins High Court injunction to delay disciplinary hearing on antisemitism charges

Tony Greenstein said he had been recovering from surgery when Labour’s national constitution committee rejected his request to postpone his case.

    Tony Greenstein at the High Court on Thursday (Photo: Tony Greenstein)
    Tony Greenstein at the High Court on Thursday (Photo: Tony Greenstein)

    A Jewish anti-Zionist Labour member claims he has won a High Court injunction against the party in relation to a planned disciplinary hearing.

    Tony Greenstein was suspended from the party for alleged antisemitism last year.

    He filed an application for an injunction to stop Labour general secretary Iain McNicol holding a disciplinary hearing into his conduct this week, saying he had been ill in hospital at the time he received a summons to the meeting.

    Mr Greenstein said he had been recovering from surgery when Labour’s national constitution committee rejected his request to postpone the hearing.

    The disciplinary will now not be heard until January 8 at the earliest after the High Court ruled on Thursday that Labour had breached its obligation to ensure fairness.

    Mr Greenstein, who is vice-chair of a Marxist group called Labour Against the Witchhunt which challenges the suspension of hard-left party members, said: “All my pleas to the Labour Party to postpone the hearing until the New Year fell on deaf ears. 

    “Having repeatedly leaked details of my case to the national press, Iain McNicol and the Compliance Unit were determined to expedite my hearing and expel me. 

    “Despite being Jewish I was suspended as part of the false antisemitism witch-hunt in March 2016.  I had evidence that I was being treated differently from other people who were suspended but nothing I said, despite having been in hospital recently, would persuade these people to change their minds.”

    Mark MacDonald QC, who has worked in the Palestinian territories and set up the Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East group, represented Mr Greenstein.

    The Labour Party declined to comment.

    The High Court hearing did not consider any of the charges against Mr Greenstein, who had asked for his disciplinary case to be postponed until February.

    The JC reported last week that veteran Jewish Labour MP Louise Ellman had been racially abused in blog posts written by Mr Greenstein.

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