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Ian Austin MP quits labour citing an ‘atmosphere of intolerance’

Friday, 22 February, 2019 - 21:28

The UK Labour party has suffered another resounding resignation, a few days after the departure of eight of its MPS. Ian Austin, the Labour MP for Dudley North, accused the party of being soft on anti-Semitism on Friday. “I am ashamed of the Labour Party under the direction of Jeremy Corbyn”, he wrote in article announcing his resignation on Friday.

“The party is harder on people who complain about anti-Semitism than on anti-Semites,” said the 53-year-old MP, denouncing a “culture of extremism, anti-Semitism and intolerance.”

Austin, who is pro-Brexit, also said that “the hard left is now in control of the party.”

Eight Labor MPs announced their departure mid-week, denouncing both the party’s management of Brexit and that of the anti-Semitism allegations against some of its members.

Jeremy Corbyn is accused by critics outside and within the party of not taking a clear stand on Brexit and not reacting firmly enough to the many accusations of anti-Semitism among party members.

At the beginning of August, he admitted that the party had a “real problem” of anti-Semitism, had been “too slow” to impose disciplinary sanctions in proven cases and had stated that its priority was to “restore confidence” in the party among the Jewish community. But for Luciana Berger, a Jewish MP who resigned this week, Labour is “institutionally anti-Semitic, in its processes, state of mind and behavior.”

Mr Corbyn’s position on Brexit is also much criticised by the resigning MPs who decided to create an independent group in the Commons. This new movement was joined by three Conservative MPs who resigned from their party.

 

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