Veteran Labour MP brands party leadership a 'force for anti-Semitism'

Veteran Labour MP brands party leadership a 'force for anti-Semitism'”

The Birkenhead MP said he was quitting to become an "independent Labour MP" following a number of controversies that have seen Jeremy Corbyn accused of anti-semitism.

He said he also hopes to be in a position to seek the whip again as soon as possible.

Field wrote in a letter to chief whip Nick Brown, "Britain fought the Second World War to banish these views from our politics, but that superhuman effort and success is now under huge and sustained internal attack".

But, he added: "My wish to see a more inclusive debate in the Labour party could not have been more wide of the mark".

Gideon Falter, chairman of Campaign Against Antisemitism, stated: "It is very sad that after nearly 40 years as a Labour MP, Frank Field felt morally compelled to resign the Labour whip because the party that was fiercely anti-racist when he joined it has now become infested with antisemitism".

Frank Field has told his constituents he had given up the party whip "with considerable sadness", but could not condone Labour's "appalling culture".

In his letter in Camden New Journal, Rosenberg added: "Camden Momentum's leadership seems determined to make Labour a safe space for bigots and a hostile environment for Jews".

He continued: "The party needs to send out a clear signal against nastiness, bullying, and intimidation at every level by taking effective action".

The latest firestorm to engulf the party followed the revelation last week of comments made by Corbyn in a 2013 speech at the Palestinian Return Centre in London, where he said of a group of British "Zionists": "They clearly have two problems".

Field vowed to retain his party membership, but in resigning the whip will no longer sit as a Labour MP bound by the instructions of the parliamentary party or receive its benefits.

A Labour Party spokesman has thanked Mr Field for his service to Labour. I shall of course remain a Party member as I have been since 1960.

"The values I have espoused during this time will be the same that will continue to govern my conduct and I also intend, providence willing, is called".

Mr Field also hit out at his local division of the party, describing it as the second factor that drove him to quit. But great changes in the leadership's stance on the issues outlined in this letter will need to take place before I will be able to do so. "Frank Field was about to be deselected by his local Labour Party after voting to prop up the Tory government, and jumped before he was pushed".

MP Mary Creagh said the fact Mr Field's local party wanted to deselect him "speaks volumes about the state of our party".

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