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MP “very sorry” to see split in Labour Party

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WARRINGTON North MP Helen Jones today expressed disappointment at the news that seven MPs had resigned from the Labour Party in protest at Jeremy Corbyn’s approach to Brexit and anti-Semitism.
She said: “I am very sorry to see good people like Ann Coffey, Mike Gapes and Luciana Berger leaving Labour but I think they are wrong to do so.
“I have been in the party all my adult life.  My parents were members, my grandparents were members.  It is my party and I will not be bullied out of it.  I will stay and fight for my constituents and for the sensible policies they need to improve their lives.”
The seven MPs to have resigned from Labour are: Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger, Chris Leslie, Angela Smith, Mike Gapes, Gavin Shuker and Ann Coffey.
Ms Berger said Labour had become institutionally anti-Semitic and she was “embarrassed and ashamed” to stay in the party.
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 seven MPs are not launching a new political party – they are to 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.”
There would be no merger with the Liberal Democrats, he said. The group wanted to “build a new alternative”.
Chris Leslie said the seven would have their first formal meeting “in a few days” time to “assign roles and responsibilities”.
The group rejected comparisons with the SDP – which broke away from the Labour Party in the early 1980s but eventually merged with the Liberal Party.
In a “founding statement” the group have set out its approach to the economy, public services and security, as well as Brexit.
It aims to “pursue policies that are evidence-based, rather that led by ideology”.
*Warrington found itself at the centre of the last split in the Labour Party when in July 1981 former Labour minister Roy Jenkins – one of the “Gang of Four” who launched the SDP – took on Labour at a by-election in the town.
He nearly won – claiming 42.4 per cent of the poll to Labour’s 48.4 per cent.

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6 Comments

  1. Helen Jones nobody brought up stronger Labour than myself. I for one feel as though you are neglecting your constituents in not supporting their majority decision. Bullying can work both ways but I personally can’t see anything to that sort happening. Your leave constituents would have lived you to attend the debate on Brexit then maybe we could have all put our points of view across. I feel as though the Labour party no longer cares about it’s supporters as has been shown in numerous Labour held constituencies. I feel I have been bullied into a situation where I feel I can no longer vote for the party that has been supported by my family for years.

  2. well said Lynn I also feel the same about Labour…..they have lost their direction big time and I am now politically homeless for the first time since I was able to vote and that is many years…….

  3. Well said Lynn, our parents and Grandparents would not know this party as it is today under the gang of 3. Even Tom Watson said today he doesn’t know this party as it stands and despairs that others will follow suit. Helen Jones and Faisal Rashid have both gone against their electorate and will pay the price for that at the next election.

  4. Helen Jones says she will not be bullied out of the Labour Party. She does not say who is trying to bully her. I am sure it is not the “Gang of Seven” nor is it Warrington’s Brexiteers. So who? The leadership perhaps?
    Remember, she voted against Corbyn when he was first elected. She has, perhaps wisely, kept her head down since but I don’t think she can be counted as a Corbyn supporter.

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