Seven MPs have resigned from the Labour Party amid disagreements regarding Brexit and anti-Semitism accusations to form an Independent Group. Chuka Umunna predicts that the group will become an official political party by the end of the year, but is he being honest about why he has resigned?
Recent Labour Party resignations
Chris Leslie, Mike Gapes, Gavin Shuker, Ann Coffey, Luciana Berger and Chuka Umunna – these seven MPs have resigned from the Labour Party in protest of Jeremy Corbyn’s approach to anti-Semitism as well as his approach to Brexit.
These MPs have called for other disillusioned members of the House of Commons to join them, including the tories and opposed any comparisons with the “Social Democratic Party, which was founded by the Gang of four breakaway Labour MPs in 1981” according to the Telegraph. The seven MPs, who all back a further EU referendum, are not launching a new political party – for now they will sit in Parliament as the Independent Group.
Something Umunna isn’t telling us?
Chuka Umunna, who has been a member of the labour party for over 22 years, predicts that the Independent Group will be established as a political party by the end of the year.
In a statement, Chuka Umunna stated at a launch event in central London: “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.”
According to Express, in an interview with BBC host Nick Robinson, Ummuna was left “speechless” when confronted about his position on the policies mentioned in the 2017 Labour manifesto. When asked: “Which parts of the Labour manifesto that you stood on in 2017, other than Europe, what part of that manifesto do you disavow and disagree with?”, he responded with “Well, Brexit is the biggest issue since the Second World War”. He then went on to say: “On Brexit I actually, with a group of other colleagues, including those who are now part of the Independent Group, we’ve put out an alternative Brexit prospective during that election. So people knew that we were standing on something different”
Though the resignations seem like a ‘noble’ act of political integrity, the interview between Chuka Umunna and Nick Robinson compels us to question why it is that he has chosen to resign and form a separate ‘political party to be’.
This does not take away from the fact that Brexit and anti-semitism are two major issues that have been dividing MPs for a significant amount of time. Though there are still conversations on the division of MPs, according to the interview, other long standing issues prompted his resignation. Umunna’s struggle to name a Labour policy he disagrees with came across awkward, to which BBC presenter Nick Robinson stated that his excuses were simply an “elegant way of saying you don’t like Jeremy Corbyn”, according to the Mirror.
Though the news of the resignations are quite and still developing, it is safe to assume that this may most likely be the first of many.