Veteran U.K. Labour Lawmaker Quits, Calls Party 'Force for anti-Semitism'

Labour has been battling accusations of anti-Semitism for months, and leader Jeremy Corbyn has previously apologized for what he has described as 'pockets' of anti-Semitism in his party

Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Britain's opposition Labour Party delivers a speech in Carlisle, Britain.
REUTERS/Andrew Yates

A veteran lawmaker has quit the Labour Party grouping in Britain's parliament, saying the party has become a "force for anti-Semitism."

Frank Field quit Thursday with a letter to the party's chief whip accusing the leadership of the left-of-center party of overseeing an "erosion of our core values."

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Allegations of anti-Jewish prejudice within Labour have grown since veteran socialist Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader in 2015. Some in the party allege that Corbyn, a longtime critic of Israel's treatment of Palestinians, has allowed anti-Semitic abuse to go unchecked.

Field has sat in parliament since 1979 and served as a minister in Prime Minister Tony Blair's government, but has found himself at odds with Corbyn and his left-wing supporters.

Field says he plans to remain in Parliament as an independent.