(February 18, 2019 / JNS) Seven British lawmakers quit the Labour Party on Monday over concerns regarding Jeremy Corbyn’s handling of the anti-Semitism scandal within the party and because of issues surrounding Brexit, saying that the opposition party had been “hijacked by the machine politics of the hard left.”
The seven lawmakers—Chris Leslie, Luciana Berger, Angela Smith, Gavin Shuker, Chuka Umunna, Mike Gapes and Ann Coffey—said that “enough is enough” in regards to keeping silent about Corbyn’s fitness for office.
MP Berger, who is Jewish, had been a particularly strong critic of her former party’s handling of anti-Semitism, calling the party “institutionally anti-Semitic,” and that she had become “embarrassed and ashamed” to stay. Berger, who represents Liverpool, had been a frequent target of anti-Semitic attacks since assuming 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 concern over Corbyn’s handling of Brexit. They all support a second referendum on the decision to leave the European Union, a move that Corbyn opposes.