AN EVENT that was due to hosted by MP Chris Williamson has been cancelled following an intervention from Peter Kyle.

The Derby North MP was suspended from the Labour Party over anti-Semitism allegations.

The 62-year-old was due to speak at Brighthelm Centre next month alongside the auction of a banned Steve Bell cartoon.

But just hours after the event was announced, it was cancelledby the venue, after the office of Labour MP Peter Kyle contacted the North Road called to express concerns.

The Hove and Portslade representative said: “I made my views known - our city should not be a welcoming place for people who bait the Jewish community or sow seeds of division.

The Argus: Mr Kyle said venue is 'a credit to our community'

“My office contacted them earlier to express my concerns, and I believe others did too.

“I’m pleased the Brighthelm have acted so sensitively and responsibly, they are a credit to our community.”

Mr Williamson was suspended in February after saying Labour had “given too much ground” in a remark about the party’s handling of anti-Semitism.

Responding to the cancellation, he said: “The grotesque slurs that Peter Kyle and others have levelled against me are truly despicable.

“I have a long and proud record of fighting racism, which has always involved standing up for every oppressed and marginalised group in society, including Jewish people.

The Argus:
Chris Williamson MP said he has a proud history of fighting racism 

“When Peter Kyle was still in nappies, I was an active member of the Anti-Nazi League, physically confronting foul racists and anti-Semites in the National Front.”

The August 8 event would have also seen the auction of a signed version of a controversial Steve Bell cartoon which The Guardian refused to publish.

In it, Labour deputy leader Tom Watson is depicted as an “anti-Semite finder general”.

Mr Williamson added: “The cancellation of this meeting venue has chilling implications for free speech. Peter Kyle needs to explain why he thinks it is acceptable to censor such a discussion.”

The event said it was to resist “the wave of assaults on the party and importance of protecting freedom of speech” and setting out ways to “democratise the economy”.

But a spokeswoman for the Jewish Representative Council branded it a “crass publicity stunt”.

She said: “Antisemitism must be treated with the utmost seriousness at all times.

The Argus: The Brighthelm Centre confirmed the event had been cancelled

“We would hope that those associated with this event would consider the impact that this has on its Jewish community and ensure that it does not take place.”

Organiser and pro-Corbyn activist Greg Hadfield said he will be writing to Green MP Caroline Lucas and Labour’s Lloyd Russell-Moyle for support.

He said: “It is a shocking indictment of the politics of anti-Corbyn diehards - especially the duplicitous and disloyal Peter Kyle - that they try, in vain, to stifle a discussion about a democratic, socialist economy.

The Argus: Organiser Greg Hadfield is determined the event will go ahead

“The witch-hunt against Chris Williamson and countless socialists across our city and across our country must end. Fake allegations of anti-Semitism cause untold anxiety and distress to members of our Jewish community.

“The meeting will go ahead, in a bigger and more welcoming venue.”