Ruth Smeeth loses seat: ‘This is a disaster – Jeremy Corbyn must resign”

Ruth Smeeth loses seat: ‘This is a disaster – Jeremy Corbyn must resign”

Former Labour politician - who spoke widely about the antisemitism she faced from activists - brands party's performance 'appalling'

Ruth Smeeth furious on Sky News after losing her seat
Ruth Smeeth furious on Sky News after losing her seat

Labour’s Ruth Smeeth called for Jeremy Corbyn to resign as she faced losing her seat in Stoke-on-Trent North to the Conservatives.

The parliamentary chair of the Jewish Labour Movement branded her loss a “disaster” as she branded her party’s performance “appalling”.

She said: “I have lost, I am no longer MP – this is a disaster. Jeremy Corbyn should resign now before his own count is in.”

Speaking on Sky News, she said it was “an appalling night for my constituents and an appalling night for the country.

“The Labour Party has huge huge questions to answer by first of all having this general election when they were so ill prepared for it, but then having this option available to the country, having this platform, having this leadership, and allowing this devastation to hit all of our communities.

“This is an appalling heartbreaking night for the Labour Party – but I’m now much more worried about what happens to my constituents.”

Asked where the finger should be pointed, she replied “Jeremy Corbyn.”

Jeremy Corbyn should announce that he is resigning as leader of the Labour Party from his count today.

He should have gone many many many months ago. I was parliamentary chair of the Jewish Labour Movement. We passed a motion of no confidence in him in April. There is absolutely no justification for why he’s still there. And his personal actions have delivered this result.”

Ms Smeeth has been critical of Mr Corbyn’s handling of antisemitism allegations in the Labour party. She is a Remain supporter in an area which voted to Leave the EU.

Smeeth tallied 14,688 votes, losing to Tory rival Jonathan Gullis with 20,974, a swing of 7 percent. 

In the last 12 months, Smeeth gave an impassioned speech in parliament detailing the antisemitic abuse she received.

She was also at the centre of controversy in 2015 when Labour launched Baroness Shami Chakrabarti’s report into antisemitism. Expelled activist Mark Wadsworth, an ally of Jeremy Corbyn, heckled her accusing her of handing out briefing against the Labour leader, leading to her leaving the event in tears.

A statement from the Jewish Labour Movement – a group affiliated to Labour for close to a century – paid tribute to Ruth Smeeth on Friday morning, saying she “represented the best of Labour over these past few years – unafraid and determined to hold the party’s leadership accountable for their failure to tackle antisemitism despite the abuse she’s faced.”

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