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Labour MP Frank Field resigns whip labelling Jeremy Corbyn’s party racist

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Frank Field
Frank Field has quit in protest over antisemitism in
the Labour party.

Getty

  • Labour MP Frank Field resigns from the party saying
    Jeremy Corbyn’s party is now a “force for
    antisemitism”
  • The rebel MP said he will now serve as an independent
    as he does not want to be seen as part of a “racist”
    party.
  • Friends of Field have told Business Insider that he has
    urged colleagues to take similar action.
  • His departure comes as around a dozen Labour MPs
    consider splitting from the party.

LONDON – Labour MP Frank Field has resigned the Labour whip, in a
major blow to Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, saying that the party
is now seen as “racist” and a “force for antisemitism” in British
politics.

Field, who sent a letter explaining his decision to Labour Chief
Whip Nick Brown, said he was resigning the whip as there was now
a “culture of intolerance, nastiness and intimidation,” in the
party.

The Labour MP said there was now a “thuggish” and “bullying”
element within the party which Corbyn had failed to tackle, both
in relation to allegations of anti-semitism and on other issues.

Deputy Leader Tom Watson said Field’s resignation must be a
“major wake-up call” for the party. 

“This is a serious loss to the party and I deeply regret Frank’s
decision. It reflects both the deep divisions in the party and
the sense of drift engulfing us. It is a major wake up call. We
cannot afford to lose people of such weight and stature.” 

Field said in his letter to Brown said he would seek to rejoin
the party if and when the leadership tackled the problems in the
party.

“I am writing with considerable sadness to inform you of my
intention to sit as an Independent Labour member of Parliament. I
am resigning the whip for two principal reasons,” Field wrote.

“The first centres on the latest example of Labour’s leadership
becoming a force for anti-semitism in British politics. This
latest example, from last week, comes after a series of attempts
by Jeremy to deny that past statements and actions by him were
anti-semitic. 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. The leadership
is doing nothing substantive to address this erosion of our core
values. It saddens me to say that we are a racist party. The
issue alone compels me to resign the whip.

“The second reason is that a culture of intolerance, nastiness
and intimidation now reigns in too many parts of the Party
nationally and is sadly manifest within my own Constituency
Labour Party (CLP) in Birkenhead. This is, I fear, just one
example of a phenomenon that has tightened its grip on CLPs
across the country and is being driven, in part, by members who
in previous years would never have been able to claim Labour
party membership.

“My original submission to the party on a specific bullying issue
goes back eighteen months. Many submissions have since come from
me as well as from loyal Party members. No decisive action has
been taken. At best, the Party’s failure to act on these numerous
complaints about the thuggish conduct of some members
demonstrates a wilful denial. At worst, it serves to legitimise
appalling levels of bullying and intimidation of lifelong Labour
members.”

Read Frank Field’s full resignation letter


Frank FieldFrank
Field

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