Angela Smith among seven Labour MPs to resign

For JUS News 

Angela Smith, MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge, is one of seven Labour politicians to resign from the party this morning.

The group of MPs stood down in a protest over “the future of British politics” in order to form the “Independent Group” amid their party’s handling over Brexit, National Security and Anti-Semitism.

Ms Smith, who has been in office since 2010, said in a statement: “I don’t want to be patronised by left wing intellectuals who think being poor and working class constitutes a state of grace.”

Speaking later to BBC Politics Live, she said: “We feel that morally and politically to break free of a party that no longer represents what we stand for.

“The culture of the Labour Party is vicious, it is bullying, it is unpleasant.”

She added: “Not only has Jeremy Corbyn got hold of the machinery to the party, he has changed the locks, we no longer have the keys.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he is “disappointed” with their decision. He said: “I am disappointed that these MPs have felt unable to continue.”

Ms Smith has represented the seat since 2010, and was MP for Sheffield Hillsborough from 2005 to 2010. In November 2018, her Constituency Labour Party passed a motion of no confidence in her grounds of her lack of support for the party leadership.

She said in the statement: “Our politics, in other words, is broken, incapable of inspiring confidence in the future.”

She added: “The level of alienation from the political process on the part of the people is at a record high, with the chaos and conflict characterising Brexit encapsulating perfectly the sense of deadlock and hopelessness which pervades our political culture.”

Liverpool Wavertree MP Luciana Berger, who also resigned, led the group  in making a statement.

She said: “This morning, we have all now resigned from the Labour Party. This has been a very difficult, painful, but necessary decision.

“From today, we will all sit in Parliament as a new independent group of MPs. From my part, I have become embarrassed and ashamed to remain in the Labour Party.”

More to follow…

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