Frank Field veteran backbench MP known for his expertise on welfare and poverty issues, has become the first Labour MP to quit the party over anti-Semitism.
The veteran politician has resigned the whip – blaming a ‘culture of intolerance, nastiness and intimidation’ in local parties. In a letter to the Chief Whip, Field said the leadership was ‘becoming a force for anti-Semitism in British politics’.
‘Britain fought the Second World War to banish these views from our politics, but that superhuman effort and success is now under huge and sustained internal attack.
The leadership is doing nothing substantive to address this erosion of our core values. It saddens me that we are increasingly seen as a racist party.’
Labour’s deputy leader, Tom Watson, described Field’s decision as “a major wake-up call” for Labour.
Watson said: “This is a serious loss to the party and I deeply regret Frank’s decision. It reflects both deep divisions in the party and the sense of drift engulfing us. It is a major wake-up call. We cannot afford to lose people of such weight and stature.”
Frank Field will now act as an independent MP.
Frank Field resignation letter: