Ian Austin becomes latest MP to leave Labour

Dudley North MP, Ian Austin, has become the latest politician to leave the Labour party, in favour of sitting as an independent.

In an email sent to constituents this morning, Mr Austin, who has represented the Black Country constituency since 2005, said:

“The Labour Party has been my life, so this has been the hardest decision I have ever had to take, but I have to be honest and the truth is that I have become ashamed of the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn.

“I am appalled at the offence and distress Jeremy and the Labour Party have caused to Jewish people. It is terrible that a culture of extremism, antisemitism and intolerance is driving out good MPs and decent people who have committed their life to mainstream politics.

“Jeremy Corbyn and the people around him have turned a mainstream party into something very different. He has spent his entire political career working with and supporting all sorts of extremists, and in some cases terrorists and antisemites. I always thought he was unfit to lead the Labour Party and I certainly think he is unfit to lead our country.

“I will be an independent MP but I will be working just as hard to stand up for our area. Dudley has been hit hard by a decade of cutbacks. It is a disgrace to see homeless people sleeping rough in the town centre. We have fewer police and rising levels of crime. People wait too long for GP appointments or hospital treatment. Many families are struggling to make ends meet. I’ll work as hard as I always have done to fight for our area and local people.”

Mr Austin joins a growing list of MP’s, from both the Labour and Conservative benches, who are opting to leave their parties and stand as independents.

So far, eight other Labour MPs and three Conservative MPs have quit their parties and joined forces as an Independent Group - however it is understood Mr Austin has opted not to join.

From Labour, Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger, Mike Gapes, Chris Leslie, Angela Smith, Ann Coffey, Gavin Shuker, and Joan Ryan have all left and Conservative MPs Anna Soubry, Heidi Allen and Sarah Wollaston followed.


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