Christian MP Frank Field quits Labour whip with anti-Semitism warning

Lord Sacks described Jeremy Corbyn as an antisemite who had “legitimised the public expression of hate”

The politician, who has represented Birkenhead for almost 40 years, was told by Nick Brown that he would be removed from the party unless he reversed his decision to resign the whip - effectively the rules and policy an MP is bound by. This issue alone compels me to resign the whip. "I said I would think about it because it is insane to spend an hour with the chief whip and not think about what he said, but I didn't express any enthusiasm for that".

"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", he wrote in a letter to the party's chief whip, a lawmaker responsible for making sure members of parliament vote in line with the party's position.

Meanwhile, senior Labour backbencher John Mann demanded that Jewish MPs are automatically reselected for Labour instead of facing deselection by hard Left activists for speaking out on anti-Semitism.

I am writing with considerable sadness to inform you of my intention to sit as an Independent Labour Member of Parliament.

Mr Field, who chairs the Commons work and pensions committee, has faced criticism from party members for his voting record on key Government Brexit legislation and last month lost a motion of no confidence in his local party.

'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.

"I was told, "of course you would remain a member of the Labour Party" - but that may not be the position and I will learn about that later today".

"Second, the party must recognise the culture of intolerance, nastiness and intimidation that it has allowed to grow unchecked and expel local members whose public conduct is simply disgraceful".

"The chief whip said that I can not remain after two weeks of resigning the Labour whip a member of the Labour party".

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He added that Labour must show it can put its house in order to demonstrate it is "fit to run the country".

"Following Jeremy's election as leader and the growth of party membership, which would in normal circumstances be welcome, we have become a party that displays intolerance, nastiness, and intimidation at all too many levels".

"The indications are that others may now follow where Frank Field has led".

"The Liberal Democrats continue to have strong policy disagreements with our new "independent" MP, not least on Mr Field's continued support for Brexit, which we feel will harm many of Birkenhead's most vulnerable and poorest residents and look forward to continuing to debate these issues with him".

Mr Corbyn also stressed that people who hold anti-Semitic views "have no place in the Labour Party" and said people who use "anti-Semitic poison" are not his supporters, nor do they speak for him or the party.

The party's deputy leader, Tom Watson, said his decision was a "serious loss" that "reflects both the deep divisions in the party and the sense of drift engulfing us".

But he said his hope "could not have been more wide of the mark" and the party is now intolerant.

"If he stood as an independent I wager he would not get in, and one of the things he ought to be considering now is precipitating a by-election".

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