Veteran UK Labour MP resigns over anti-Semitism scandals

'Labour's leadership has become a force for anti-Semitism', says party tolerates anti-Jewish bigotry.

David Rosenberg,

Frank Field in 1998
Frank Field in 1998
REUTERS

A veteran British lawmaker has resigned from the Labour Party’s parliamentary delegation Thursday, after he accused the party’s leadership of tolerating anti-Semitism.

MP Frank Field, 76, an MP representing Birkenhead since 1979, broke off from Labour’s parliamentary delegation on Thursday, becoming an “Independent Labour” member of parliament.

In a letter to Labour Party Chief Whip Nick Brown, Field slammed party chairman Jeremy Corbyn, whom he accused of turning the party into a “force for anti-Semitism”.

“I am resigning the whip for two principal reasons,” Field wrote to Brown. “The first centers on the latest example of Labour’s leadership becoming a force for anti-Semitism in British politics. The latest example, from last week, comes after a series of attempts by Jeremy [Corbyn] 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.”

“It saddens me that we are increasingly seen as a racist party. This issue alone compels me to resign the whip.”

Field also wrote that the party had been contaminated by a “culture of intolerance, nastiness, and intimidation,” and accused some members of the party of “thuggish conduct”.

Despite his resignation from the party whip, Field will not resign as a member of the Labour party.

That decision led party leaders to give Field an ultimatum, The Guardian reported, citing anonymous sources within Labour. According to the report, the chief party whip Nick Brown will inform Field on Friday that he must either resign from the party entirely within 14 days – or be expelled.

Labour Party deputy chief Tom Watson called the resignation a “major wakeup call” for the party.

“This is a serious loss to the party and I deeply regret Frank’s decision. It reflects both 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.”

Party chief Jeremy Corbyn has made almost daily headlines in recent weeks with a series of scandals involving accusations of anti-Semitism.

On Wednesday, it was revealed that in 2010, Corbyn had claimed that Israeli officials dictated the speeches made by British MPs.

The revelation is just the latest in a series of incidents that have recently plagued Corbyn, who has, in the past, called Hamas and Hezbollah his “friends.”

Two weeks ago, the Daily Mail published photos of the Labour leader at a cemetery in Tunisia holding a wreath near the graves of some of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) terrorists who were responsible for the massacre of the 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

Days later, a picture emerged of Corbyn apparently making a salute linked to the Muslim Brotherhood organization.

That week, the Times of London published a picture of Corbyn meeting with the leader-in-exile of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization, only weeks before its members carried out an attack on a Jerusalem synagogue in which six people were murdered.

Last week it was revealed that Corbyn attended a conference with a convicted Hamas leader who was jailed in Israel for his role in orchestrating a string of terrorist attacks that killed more than 100 people between 2001 and 2002.

Later, he came under fire after the Daily Mail published a clip of Corbyn accusing a group of Zionists of having “no sense of English irony”, despite “having lived in this country for a very long time”.


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