Eighth Labour MP quits party to join Independent Group

Joan Ryan

Joan Ryan has become the eighth MP to join the Independent Group. Image: UK Parliament

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

An eighth Labour MP has quit the party to join the breakaway Independent Group in protest at Jeremy Corbyn's leadership.

Joan Ryan, who chaired Labour Friends of Israel, said the party had become "infected" with antisemitism and accused Corbyn of being unfit to be Prime Minister.

Her announcement comes amid growing speculation that some Conservative MPs may leave to join the Independent Group today.



Ms Ryan, who has represented Enfield North since 1997 with a break from 2010 to 2015 and served as a minister in Tony Blair's government, made clear she is hoping for further defections.

In a letter to constituents, she said she hoped her actions would act as a "wake-up call" and "others will join us".

Luciana Berger, Chris Leslie, Angela Smith, Gavin Shuker, Mike Gapes, Ann Coffey and Chuka Umunna made the announcement they were quitting the Labour party on Monday.