Seven Labour MPs resign from the party

Seven Labour MPs resign from party

Seven Labour MPs resign from party

Seven Labour MPs resigned from the party this morning, citing anti semitism, bullying and intimidation.

In a dramatic press conference on Monday, the Seven MPs claimed they would all be sitting in parliament as a new, independent groups of MPs.

The MPs who have resigned today are:

  • Chuka Umunna, MP for Streatham and former shadow business secretary.
  • Luciana Berger, MP for Liverpool Wavertree and former shadow minister for mental health.
  • Gavin Shuker, MP for Luton South and former shadow international development minister.
  • Angela Smith, MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge and former shadow deputy leader of the House of Commons.
  • Chris Leslie, MP Nottingham East and former shadow chancellor.
  • Mike Gapes, MP for Ilford South and former chair of the foreign affairs select committee.
  • Ann Coffey, MP for Stockport and former parliamentary private secretary to ex-chancellor Alistair Darling

Opening the press conference, Liverpool MP Luciana Berger said that she was “ashamed and embarrassed” to be in the party, due largely to its handling of anti semitism. She claimed the party was “institutionally anti semitic”, adding that the party had “willfully failed to address anti semitism among its ranks.”

The Independent Group

Luciana Berger speaks at a press conference on Monday.

In a statement in response to the resignations, party leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “I am disappointed that these MPs have felt unable to continue to work together for the Labour policies that inspired millions at the last election and saw us increase our vote by the largest share since 1945.”

In a post on Facebook, London mayor Sadiq Khan said that it was a “desperately sad day” for Labour, and that he would be sticking with the party.

Khan’s full statement: “I agree that the only way through the mess of Brexit is to give the public the final say, and that the Labour Party needs to do much more to root out the evil of anti-Semitism,”

“However, history clearly shows that the only way to get real change in our society – whether fighting for a public vote, tackling inequality, or ending austerity – is within the Labour Party. When the Labour Party splits it only leads to one outcome – a Tory government – and that means a hard Tory Brexit.”

The group is not yet an official political party, although after they officially meet later this week – to assign roles and responsibilities in the group – they may soon form one.

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Daniel Cody

Daniel Cody is SEO Editor at the New Statesman, and the creator of No Majesty. He is the host of the podcast Britain on the Rocks.