Ex-MP could lose Parliament pass amid concerns about Iran TV role
EXCLUSIVE: Ex-Labour MP and Jeremy Corbyn ally Chris Williamson could be stripped of a parliamentary pass in DAYS with former shadow minister now working for Iranian state TV and having claimed Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky is ‘backed by Nazis’
- Ex-Labour MP Chris Williamson could lose his access to Parliament within days
- He holds one of more than 300 security passes doled out to former MPs
- MailOnline understands Commons committee will review his pass tomorrow
Ex-Labour MP Chris Williamson could lose his access to Parliament within days as a House of Commons committee meets to review his security pass, it can be revealed.
The former shadow minister, a staunch ally of ex-Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, was MP for Derby North between 2017 and 2019.
He continues to enjoy privileged access to Parliament by holding one of more than 300 passes doled out to former MPs.
But concerns have been raised about the continued allocation of a security pass to Mr Williamson due to his role as a host on Iranian state TV.
The 66-year-old also recently angered serving MPs by claiming Volodymyr Zelensky is ‘backed by literal Nazis’ on the day the Ukrainian President made his historic address to Parliament.
MailOnline understands the Commons’ Administration Committee will meet tomorrow to review Mr Williamson’s holding of a parliamentary pass.
A decision is expected to be taken swifly by the group of MPs, who have an influential role in the day-to-day management of the Commons.
But Mr Williamson hit out at the ‘confected controversy’ over his parliamentary pass and suggested it was ‘another reminder of the disturbing scale of censorship that pervades British society today’.
Chris Williamson was MP for Derby North between 2017 and 2019 and served as a shadow minister under former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn
The 66-year-old has been a host of Iranian state-owned PressTV’s ‘Palestine Declassified’ show since March 2022
Mr Williamson recently angered serving MPs by claiming Volodymyr Zelensky is ‘backed by literal Nazis’ on the day the Ukrainian President made his historic address to Parliament
Mr Williamson has seen his Twitter account branded ‘Iran state-affiliated media’ by social media bosses over his role as a host of PressTV’s ‘Palestine Declassified’ show.
PressTV, which is owned by the Iranian state, has been banned in Britain since 2013 after breaching the UK’s broadcasting rules.
The channel was also recently sanctioned by the EU as part of the bloc’s response to Iran’s violent crackdown on demonstrations following the death of Mahsa Amini.
As well as expressing concern at his role with PressTV, MPs recently reacted with fury to Mr Williamson’s Twitter posts about Mr Zelensky’s speech to Parliament this month.
He branded the Ukrainian President a ‘neo-Nazi backed hypocrite’, claimed Mr Zelensky was ‘backed by literal Nazis’, and hit out at current Tory and Labour MPs who ‘salivate about escalating the war in Ukraine’.
One MP, a former Government minister, suggested to MailOnline that Mr Williamson was ‘basically’ repeating Russian propaganda about the Ukrainian leader, who is Jewish.
When Vladimir Putin began his invasion of Ukraine last year, his stated goal was to ‘denazify’ Russia’s neighbour.
Asked about the anger over his recent tweets, Mr Williamson told MailOnline: ‘My former colleagues in Parliament are in thrall to Nato militarism, which endangers British and global security.
‘Nato’s cheerleaders in Parliament are allied with — and arming — Nazis in Ukraine who were behind the Kiev regime’s eight-year long bombardment of the Donbas region prior to the Russian special operation.
‘If they were serious about ending the war in Ukraine, they would have counselled Volodymyr Zelenskyy to cease his bluster and get to the negotiating table.
‘The confected controversy over my parliamentary pass, which are routinely held by all former MPs, is another reminder of the disturbing scale of censorship that pervades British society today.
‘Anyone who doesn’t fall in line to idly cheer America’s wars is particularly vulnerable to state censure.’
Mr Williamson’s Twitter account is officially flagged as ‘Iran state-affiliated media’ on the social media site
Mr Williamson this month branded the Ukrainian President a ‘neo-Nazi backed hypocrite’ and claimed Mr Zelensky, who is Jewish, was ‘backed by literal Nazis’
All ex-MPs are eligible for passes that give them access to Parliament – although the authorities can refuse in some circumstances.
According to official records, Mr Williamson has held a pass since July 2020.
This was seven months after he failed to be re-elected as Derby North’s MP when standing as an independent candidate at the 2019 general election.
Mr Williamson was blocked from standing as an official Labour candidate following his suspension from the party.
This came after he claimed Labour had been ‘too apologetic’ about its record on tackling antisemitism.
He has been a host of PressTV’s ‘Palestine Declassified’ show since March 2022 after previously appearing as a guest on the channel.
The show has asked whether a UK charity that protects British Jews from antisemitism and related threats, the Community Security Trust, can be ‘trusted’.
Another episode hosted by Mr Williamson in March last year discussed the ‘Zionist influence’ on the music industry.
Mr Williamson’s Twitter account is officially flagged as ‘Iran state-affiliated media’ on the social media site.
But he disputes this by writing in his account bio that he is ‘NOT affiliated to any state media’.
Commons’ Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle has previously asked Sir Charles Walker, the senior Conservative MP who is chair of the Administration Committee, to look into the issuing of parliamentary passes to former MPs.
This followed concerns about whether such passes are being used for lobbying purposes by ex-MPs who take on roles as consultants or advisers.
Ex-MPs have to apply for a former members pass and, if they are found to have breached the rules associated with the pass, it will be brought to the attention of an committee that advises the Commons authorities.
A Commons spokesman has previously said they are unable to comment on individual cases.
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