On Tuesday, an eighth U.K. Labour member followed seven others who left the party the day before amid the antisemitism issue perpetuated by its leader, Jeremy Corbyn.
In a statement, Joan Ryan slammed Corbyn: “He’s allowed the Labour Party to become institutionally antisemitic, and he has a direct responsibility as leader.”
After 4 decades, I have made the terribly difficult decision to resign from the Labour Party. It is the greatest honour of my life to represent the people of #EnfieldNorth. I will continue to represent and speak up for them as a member of the @TheIndGroup of MPs #ChangePolitics pic.twitter.com/BroRRoVSGk
— Joan Ryan MP (@joanryanEnfield) February 19, 2019
The seven members — Luciana Berger, Chris Leslie, Mike Gapes, Angela Smith, Gavin Shuker, Ann Coffey and Chuka Umunna — said that “enough is enough” regarding keeping silent about Corbyn’s fitness for office.
Berger, who is Jewish, had been a particularly strong critic of Labour’s handling of antisemitism, labeling the party “institutionally antisemitic,” and that she had become “embarrassed and ashamed” to remain. Berger, who represents Liverpool, had been a frequent target of antisemitic attacks since being in office.
“I am leaving behind a culture of bullying, bigotry and intimidation. I look forward to a future serving with colleagues who respect each other,” she said.
The lawmakers also expressed alarm over Corbyn’s handling of Brexit. They all support a second referendum on the decision for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, a move that Corbyn opposes.