Corbyn hits out at MPs who quit Labour to join Independent Group
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Corbyn hits out at MPs who quit Labour to join Independent Group

Labour leader insists 'antisemitism is unacceptable in any form' as he hits out at politicians who resigned last week

Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn during a speech at Labour Women's Conference in the Telford International Centre. Photo credit: Aaron Chown/PA Wire
Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn during a speech at Labour Women's Conference in the Telford International Centre. Photo credit: Aaron Chown/PA Wire

Jeremy Corbyn has hit out at Labour MPs who quit the party to sit alongside former Tories in the new Independent Group.

Mr Corbyn said MPs like Chris Leslie and Luciana Berger, who fought the last election on a Labour manifesto opposed to Conservative austerity, were now working with ex-Tories Anna Soubry.

Speaking at a rally in Ms Soubry’s Broxtowe constituency, he said that while he was “sad” some MPs had left, he had no intention of changing the policies which delivered the biggest increase in the Labour vote since 1945.

“I’m obviously very sad at some of the things that have happened and very sad at some of the things that have been said,” he said.

“Walking away from our movement achieves nothing. Not understanding where we have come from is a bad mistake.

His speech came at the end of a week which saw nine MPs quit the Labour Party – eight of them to join the Independent Group (TIG) – amid anger over the party’s position on Europe and antisemitism within its ranks.

Despite complaints by the Jewish MP Luciana Berger and others that the leadership has consistently failed to deal with the issue within the party, Mr Corbyn insisted antisemitism was “unacceptable” in the party.

“When people are racist to each other, then we oppose it in any way whatsoever,” he said.

“If anyone is racist towards anyone else in our party – wrong. Out of court, out of order, totally and absolutely unacceptable.

“Antisemitism is unacceptable in any form and in any way whatsoever, and anywhere in our society.”

 

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