Eighth Lawmaker Resigns From Labour Over anti-Semitism Within the Party

Joan Ryan accuses Labour of being 'infected' with 'anti-Jewish racism' since Corbyn became its leader

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, gives a speech at the EEF National Manufacturing conference, in London, February 19, 2019.
Hannah McKay/Reuters

Joan Ryan, a Labour member of parliament, has become the eighth lawmaker to resign from Britain’s main opposition party.

Ryan, a lawmaker elected from Enfield North, wrote in a tweet late on Tuesday that she was resigning over concerns about anti-Semitism allegations within the party.

>>Read more: Anti-Semitism was symptom and catalyst of U.K. Labour Party split, not root cause | Analysis 

Seven other Labour lawmakers quit on Monday over leader Jeremy Corbyn’s approach to Brexit and a row over anti-Semitism, saying Britain’s main opposition party had been “hijacked by the machine politics of the hard left”.

In a letter posted on Twitter, Ryan accused the Labour Party of being “infected” with “anti-Jewish racism” since Corbyn became its leader in 2015. She alleged that the issue did not exist before Corbyn’s election as Labour leader.

Corbyn, a supporter of Palestinian rights and critic of the Israeli government, has previously been accused by some of failing to tackle anti-Semitism in the party. He denies the allegation.

Ryan, who was first elected as member of parliament from Enfield North in 1997, will now be joining an independent breakaway group.

The seven lawmakers who quit the party on Monday will continue to sit as members of parliament under the banner “The Independent Group”.

Corbyn has cemented a shift to the left in Labour, taking control of a party that, under former Prime Minister Tony Blair, moved to the center to win and retain power for 13 years.