BRITAIN: Seven MPs Resign From Labour, Claim Party Has Been “Hijacked By Machine Politics Of Hard Left”

The New York Times reports:

Seven lawmakers from Britain’s opposition Labour Party resigned on Monday to protest their leader’s approach toward the country’s withdrawal from the European Union and his handling of accusations of anti-Semitism.

The party, which is led by Jeremy Corbyn [photo], has been divided by growing tensions for months, with some centrist lawmakers struggling to reconcile their positions with the leadership’s more leftist policies. While there had been speculation that the breakaway lawmakers would create a new centrist party, there was no immediate indication of such plans on Monday.

“I cannot remain in a party that I have come to the sickening conclusion is institutionally anti-Semitic,” said MP Leslie Berger. Mr. Leslie said that the Labour Party had been “hijacked by the machine politics of the hard left,” and criticized “Labour’s betrayal on Europe.”

The BBC reports:

Mr Corbyn said he was “disappointed” the MPs had felt unable to continue working for the policies that “inspired millions” at the 2017 election.

The MPs are not launching a new political party – they will sit in Parliament as the Independent Group. But Chuka Umunna said they had “taken the first step” and urged other Labour MPs – and members of other parties – to join them in “building a new politics”.

“It is time we dumped this country’s old fashioned politics and created an alternative that does justice to who we are today and gives this country a politics fit for the here and now – the 21st Century,” he said at a launch event in central London. He said there would be “no merger” with the Liberal Democrats and the group wanted to “build a new alternative”.