Labour MP Louise Ellman has announced she is leaving the party because she “can no longer advocate voting Labour when it risks Corbyn becoming PM”. In a tweet Ellman, 73, said: “I have made the truly agonising decision to leave the Labour Party after 55 years. I can no longer advocate voting Labour when it
Labour MP Louise Ellman has announced she is leaving the party because she “can no longer advocate voting Labour when it risks Corbyn becoming PM”.
In a tweet Ellman, 73, said: “I have made the truly agonising decision to leave the Labour Party after 55 years. I can no longer advocate voting Labour when it risks Corbyn becoming PM. I will continue to serve the people of Liverpool Riverside as I have had the honour to do since 1997.”
In a longer statement the Jewish MP attacked the Labour leader’s record on antisemitism, saying: “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.”
She added: “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. Jeremy Corbyn’s seeming tolerance of antisemitism would embolden racists, poison our public debate and damage the social cohesion of our country.
“My values – traditional Labour values – have remained the same. It is Labour, under Jeremy Corbyn, that has changed. He 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.”
She said she would not join any other party. “I hope that under different leadership I will be able to return to my political home.”
Harriet Harman described Ellman’s resignation as “very sad news”.
“Thank you, Louise, for your terrific contribution to Parliament, politics and the Labour Party!” she tweeted.
The issue of antisemitism in Labour has been a major factor in the resignation of other MPs including Ian Austin, who quit earlier this year saying there was a “culture of extremism, antisemitism and intolerance” in Labour. Luciana Berger, a persistent critic of the Labour leadership, faced antisemitic abuse and quit in February. She has since joined the Liberal Democrats.