(February 20, 2019 / JNS) On Tuesday, an eighth U.K. Labour member followed seven others who left the party the day before amid the anti-Semitism issue perpetuated by its leader, Jeremy Corbyn.
In a statement, Joan Ryan slammed Corbyn: “He’s allowed the Labour Party to become institutionally anti-Semitic, and he has a direct responsibility as leader.”
After 4 decades, I have made the terribly difficult decision to resign from the Labour Party. It is the greatest honour of my life to represent the people of #EnfieldNorth. I will continue to represent and speak up for them as a member of the @TheIndGroup of MPs #ChangePolitics pic.twitter.com/BroRRoVSGk
— Joan Ryan MP (@joanryanEnfield) February 19, 2019
The seven members—Luciana Berger, Chris Leslie, Mike Gapes, Angela Smith, Gavin Shuker, Ann Coffey and Chuka Umunna—said that “enough is enough” regarding keeping silent about Corbyn’s fitness for office.
Berger, who is Jewish, had been a particularly strong critic of Labour’s handling of anti-Semitism, labeling the party “institutionally anti-Semitic,” and that she had become “embarrassed and ashamed” to remain. Berger, who represents Liverpool, had been a frequent target of anti-Semitic attacks since being in office.
“I am leaving behind a culture of bullying, bigotry and intimidation. I look forward to a future serving with colleagues who respect each other,” she said.
The lawmakers also expressed alarm over Corbyn’s handling of Brexit. They all support a second referendum on the decision for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, a move that Corbyn opposes.