It’s finally happened:
Seven MPs have resigned from the Labour Party in protest at Jeremy Corbyn’s approach to Brexit and anti-Semitism.
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.
Rumors had been swirling – not for the first time – and I had asked just the other day about the latest round. I had assumed it fizzled out.
This is a pretty bold move. One might even say hasty if this hadn’t been discussed for so long. But they left without the formation of a new party or any sort of deal with the LibDems. Maybe they’ll put something together and maybe they won’t, but right now they have no easy future. And they found that preferable to being in Jeremy Corbyn’s party.
Where to from here? The most recent polling I’ve seen has suggested that it breaks down into even thirds: One third would leave the party with Corbyn if he were displaced and left, one third would leave with a breakaway-from-Corbyn faction, and one third will stick with whichever party is under the Labour tent. That has, more than anything, kept the party together.
Until now, anyway.
Photo by skuds