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Labour MP quits party over anti-Semitism concerns

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London | October 17, 2019 7:41:42 PM IST
Jewish Labour MP Louise Ellman has quit the party after 55 years, citing concerns over the growth of antisemitism in the party under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, who she believes is a danger to Britain.

"I have this evening resigned from the Labour party. I have been a member for 55 years and a public representative in local and central government continuously since 1970. My decision has been truly agonising, as it has been for the thousands of other party members who have already left." Ellman said in a letter posted on her Twitter handle on Wednesday.

The veteran MP said that in light of the expected elections in Britain, she can no longer advocate voting Labour "when it risks Corbyn becoming" the Prime Minister.

"I believe that Jeremy Corbyn is not fit to serve as our Prime Minister. With a looming general election and the possibility of him becoming the Prime Minister, I feel I have to take a stand. I cannot advocate a government led by Jeremy Corbyn," the letter read.

Ellman said that antisemitism has become "mainstream" in the Labour Party under Corbyn's leadership, adding that an overwhelming majority of the Jewish community is fearful of what a Corbyn government might mean for Britain's Jews.

"Under Jeremy Corbyn's leadership, antisemitism has become mainstream in the Labour party. Jewish members have been bullied, abused and driven out. Antisemites have felt comfortable and vile conspiracy theories have been propagated. A party that permits anti-Jewish racism to flourish cannot be called anti-racist," the letter read.

"The overwhelming majority of the Jewish community is fearful of what a Corbyn government might mean for Britain's Jews. I share those concerns. But this issue is not simply about the Jewish community. This is about the nature of our society," she added.

Ellman said that Corbyn's seeming tolerance of antisemitism would embolden racists, poison the country's public debate and damage the social cohesion of the UK.

"My values -- traditional Labour values -- have remained the same. It is Labour, under Jeremy Corbyn, that has changed," she wrote, adding that Corbyn has presided over a culture of hatred, fear, and intolerance in the Labour party.

"But this issue is no longer just about the Labour Party -- it is about the threat a Jeremy Corbyn premiership could pose to the country," the letter concluded.

The veteran MP cleared that she would not join any other party but "continue to serve the people of Liverpool Riverside as I have had the honour to do since 1997." (ANI)

 
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