AN eighth Labour MP has quit over Jeremy Corbyn’s failure to deal with “face of evil” anti-semitism in the party.
Joan Ryan of Enfield North slammed the Labour leader and “the Stalinist clique that surrounds him” for being “too busy purging their perceived ideological enemies within”.
Yesterday seven centrist MPs quit in protest at Mr Corbyn’s leadership – saying he has made Labour “a racist and anti-Semitic party”.
A group led by Chuka Umunna announced they were walking out at an event in Central London yesterday.
And this evening Ms Ryan issued a statement on why she decided to leave the Labour party.
She wrote: “The value that led me to join the Labour Party are the same values that have led me to leave it today.”
She added: “Over the past three years, however, the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn has become infected with the scourge of anti-Jewish racism.
“This problem simply did not exist in the party before his election as leader.
“No previous Labour leader would have allowed this huge shame to befall the party.
“I have always believed that we must be especially vigilant against the oldest hatred; history teaches us the tragic and horrific results of a failure to do so.
“I have been horrified, appalled and angered to see the Labour leadership’s dereliction of duty in the face of this evil.”
Over the past three years, however, the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn has become infected with the scourge of anti-Jewish racism.
In a hammer blow to Mr Corbyn and his ultimate goal to be Prime Minister she said: “I cannot remain a member of the Labour party while this requires me to suggest that I believe Jeremy Corbyn – a man who has presided over the culture of anti-Jewish racism and hatred for Israel which now afflicts my former party – is fit to be Prime Minister of this country. He is not.”
Ms Ryan compared Mr Corbyn to Donald Trump and said: “The antisemitism crisis has thrown a harsh light on the values and behaviour of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party.”
She added “the British people deserve so much better” after writing “I cannot remain a member of the Labour party while its leadership singles out for demonization and delegitimization the world’s only Jewish state”.
What Labour split could mean for Corbyn – and Brexit
THIS week’s Labour split is the most dramatic realignment of the political parties for nearly four decades.
The decision by seven moderates to quit and form a new “Independent Group” in Parliament has rocked the party.
And it could change the path of Brexit – with all seven of the rebels being passionate advocates of a second referendum.
They will use their newfound notoriety to argue for a so-called “People’s Vote” on our EU departure.
But now the anti-Brexiteers have left Labour, there will be less internal pressure on Jeremy Corbyn to back a second referendum.
Yesterday the pro-EU People’s Vote and Best for Britain campaigns were quick to distance themselves from the Independent Group.
Both organisations insisted they are focussed on trying to win the Labour leadership over to their cause.
Mr Corbyn’s closest allies have long expected a split in the party – and some say they’re happy to see the rebels leave.
But it means Labour is now down to 249 MPs, compared to 262 after the 2017 General Election.
That could make it harder for the party to defeat the Tories in key Commons votes.
Bookmaker Betfair slashed the odds on Mr Corbyn leaving his position this year to 5/4, down from 2/1.
If voters agree with the rebels’ argument, it could deliver a huge blow to Labour’s position in the polls.
Previous party splits have failed in breaking the Tory-Labour duopoly in politics.
But they have had huge knock-on effects ultimately lasting decades.
In the 80s, the SDP fell short of its goal of replacing Labour as the main centre-left party.
But it arguably laid the ground for the centrist politics that brought Tony Blair and then David Cameron to power.
And while Ukip never got more than two MPs, the threat the Eurosceptic party posed to the Tories arguably led to Mr Cameron’s momentous decision to hold the EU referendum in 2016.
The other MPs involved are Luciana Berger, Chris Leslie, Angela Smith, Mike Gapes, Ann Coffey and Gavin Shuker.
They are forming a new grouping in the House of Commons called “The Independent Group” – but fell short of creating a whole new political party.
The rebels are furious at Mr Corbyn’s Brexit policy and his failure to tackle anti-Semitism in the party.
Yesterday Mr 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.”
Ms Ryan’s announcement came as Labour launched a consultation on changes to allow voters to force MPs to seek re-election if they swap parties.
The proposed new right to recall comes after yesterday’s launch of the Independent Group by seven ex-Labour MPs including former shadow ministers Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger and Chris Leslie.
Members of the new group have indicated they will resist demands from Labour bigwigs, including John McDonnell, to step down and seek a fresh mandate from voters in a by-election.
Ms Ryan, who has represented Enfield North since 1997 with a break from 2010-15 and served as a minister in Tony Blair’s government, made clear she is hoping for further defections.
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Ms Ryan joined the Labour party in 1983 and was elected in 1997 as one of the so-called ‘Blair’s babes’.
She was one of the leading pro-Israel MPs in Parliament and faced being deselected by leftie activists who have accused her of “smearing” Mr Corbyn over the party’s anti-Semitism crisis.
Rumours of a split in Labour have swirled ever since Mr Corbyn took power in 2015.
But the party’s divisions were temporarily reduced in the wake of the 2017 General Election where Labour did surprisingly well.
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