Veteran MP, Frank Field, resigns from the Labour party due to the recent antisemitism row the party has been facing.
Mr Field deemed the party’s handling of the antisemitism problem “a culture of intolerance, nastiness, bullying and intimidation” which has spread amongst the party.
In his resignation letter to Labour’s chief whip, Nick Brown, he wrote:
“The leadership is doing nothing substantive to address this erosion of core values. It saddens me to say that we are increasingly seen as a racist party. This issue alone compels me to resign the whip.”
Field stated that he would continue to be a member of the party and a representative of his constituency by standing as an independent Labour MP.
Labour party deputy leader, Tom Watson stated, “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.”
“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,” said Field in reference to Corbyn’s comments from 2013 about a group of Zionists which recently emerged.
The Labour party published an official statement which commended and thanked Mr Field for his service.
It has been speculated that some members of the party have criticised Field’s resignation by saying “Frank has been looking for an excuse to resign for some time” and that Field’s official resignation letter was motivated by a previous complaint against his local party which was investigated and eventually resolved.
He has also been widely criticised within the party for his views which were not aligned with Corbyn’s, namely his support for Brexit.
The Labour party has recently been involved in an antisemitism row which has criticised them for the way in which they have handled it.