Seven Labour MPs announce resignation from the party

Labour Resignations

MPs gather to announce their resignation at a Westminster press conference. Image: Stefan Rousseau/PA

Monday, February 18, 2019

Seven Labour MPs have today announced their resignation from the party.

Luciana Berger, Chris Leslie, Angela Smith, Gavin Shuker, Mike Gapes, Ann Coffey and Chuka Umunna made the announcement during a press conference at County Hall in Westminster this morning.

Addressing reporters, Chris Leslie cited an "appalling culture" and "antisemitism" as his reason for leaving.

 

 

Ann Coffey, who has been a member of the party for 41 years ago said she left the party with "great sadness", but claimed antisemitism was "rife", and criticisms of leadership were "responded to with abuse and accusations of treachery".

"I thought I would be in the Labour Party for the rest of my life," she told the press.

The group will now sit in Parliament as an independent group of MPs.

They already have an official Twitter account called the The Independent Group, with the slogan "Politics is broken. Let’s change it".

 

'Disappointed'

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn leaving his north London home this morning. Image: PA

In a statement, Labour 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.

"Labour won people over on a programme for the many not the few – redistributing wealth and power, taking vital resources into public ownership, investing in every region and nation, and tackling climate change."

Rumours of a Labour Party split had been swirling over the last 24 hours.

This morning, Manuel Cortes, general secretary of the TSSA union, urged Labour MPs "thinking of bolting" to stick with the party.

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