19, February 2019
UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn says he is “disappointed” to see lawmakers quit his party at a time that the country needs to stay united as it gets prepared to leave the European Union (EU).
Seven members of Britain’s main opposition party resigned on Monday, citing Labour’s refusal to effectively confront Tory Prime Minister Theresa May’s push to break the country away from the European Union and its failure to address what they called concerns about anti-Semitism.
“I am disappointed that these MPs have felt unable to continue to work together for the Labour policies that inspired millions at the last election and saw us increase our vote by the largest share since 1945,” he wrote on twitter, referring to the party’s performance during last year’s snap General Election.
In June 2018, May felt confident that she could increase her party’s parliamentary majority in an early vote and ultimately minimize the risks of strong opposition against her Brexit deal with the EU.
But her plans missed the mark by a huge margin as Labour, under Corbyn’s leadership, won a considerable number of new seats and took away the Conservative Party’s majority, forcing May to forge an embarrassing alliance with the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to stay in power.
May’s unfortunate gamble came back to haunt her in early January, when a vast majority of MPs, including some Tory and DUP lawmakers, voted down her controversial draft Brexit deal with the EU.
“Labour won people over on a program for the many not the few – redistributing wealth and power, taking vital resources into public ownership, investing in every region and nation, and tackling climate change,” Corbyn reminded the resigned members of his party.
“The Tories are bungling Brexit while Labour has set out a unifying and credible alternative plan. When millions face the misery of Universal Credit, rising crime, homelessness and poverty, now more than ever is the time to bring people together to build a better future for us all,” he added.
Seven members of Britain’s opposition Labour party leave its ranks, citing, what they call, the party’s weak approach towards Brexit and its “failure” to root out “anti-Semitism.”
MPs Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger, Chris Leslie, Ann Coffey, Angela Smith, Gavin Shuker, and Mike Gapes announced their decision to split on Monday.
This was the biggest split from Labour since1981, when four senior members quit the party. “This has been a very difficult, painful but necessary decision,” Berger said at a press conference in London. Umunna has been promoting calls for a second referendum after one in 2016, which saw 52 percent of voters back leaving the EU.
Leslie claimed that evidence of Labour’s “betrayal” on Brexit was clear to see. MP John Healy warned that move only benefited May and took attention of her handling of Brexit. He told the quitting MPs that their decision weakened efforts to stop a no-deal Brexit, as May has often threatened to do.