“Ms Berger said Labour had become institutionally anti-Semitic and she was ’embarrassed and ashamed’ to stay.”
The United Kingdom’s Labour Party has lost seven members today due to many problems concerning leader Jeremy Corbyn, including his anti-Semitism. From the BBC:
They are: Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger, Chris Leslie, Angela Smith, Mike Gapes, Gavin Shuker and Ann Coffey.
Ms Berger said Labour had become institutionally anti-Semitic and she was “embarrassed and ashamed” to stay.
Mr Corbyn said he was “disappointed” the MPs had felt unable to continue working for the policies that “inspired millions” at the 2017 election.
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said the “honourable thing for them to do” would be to stand down and fight by-elections.
He said Labour was “a family”, adding: “We shouldn’t splinter in this way.
“It is better to remain in the party, fight your corner.”
MP @lucianaberger says she has come to “sickening conclusion” that Labour is “institutionally antisemitic”, as she joins six other MPs in quitting party.
We applaud her in her brave decision to speak out against antisemitism in the UK’s Labour party. pic.twitter.com/ZndpzSbwPp
— StandWithUs (@StandWithUs) February 18, 2019
— Board of Deputies of British Jews (@BoardofDeputies) February 18, 2019
Berger proclaimed that she will leave “behind a culture of bullying, bigotry and intimidation.” Leslie blasted the Labour party for “‘betraying’ the country over Brexit, adding it has been ‘hijacked by the politics of the hard left.'” Leslie had more to say:
Commenting on his decision to quit the Labour party, Chris Leslie said: “Wouldn’t be true to my values and my constituents if I pretended that Jeremy Corbyn and his team were fit to be prime minister of the United Kingdom.
Asked if his actions would be different if Mr Corbyn was not the Labour leader, he said: “It’s not just about Jeremy Corbyn […] It is the team around him.
“The abuse online and offline in meetings. i think politics should be different.”
Labour grandee Lord David Blunkett demanded that Corbyn listen to these seven former Labour members instead of brushing aside their concerns because it could lead to “disintegration” of the party. However, Blunkett also criticized the seven MPs and insisted that “[T]his is not the way to save the Labour party.”
Deputy Leader of Labour Tom Watson lashed out at the hard left and accused them of being “too easily tempted into the language of heresy and treachery.” He said he loves the party, “but sometimes I no longer recognise it.” This is why he refuses to call the defectors traitors.
Berger and the rest will form The Independent Group. Umunna asked those in England who feel “politically homeless” to join them in order “to find a new way forward for Britain.”DONATE
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