‘Labour’s leadership is becoming a force for anti-Semitism in British politics’: MP Frank Field’s powerful resignation letter word-for-word
- Frank Field has quit the Labour Party over what he calls ‘erosion of core values’
- The Labour MP for Birkenhead has been in his position for the last 40 years
- He cites ‘appalling levels of bullying and intimidation of Labour supporters’
I am writing with considerable sadness to inform you of my intention to sit as an independent Labour Member of Parliament. I am resigning the whip for two principal reasons.
The first centres on the latest example of Labour’s leadership becoming a force for anti-Semitism in British politics. The latest example, from last week, comes after a series of attempts by Jeremy to deny that past statements and actions by him were anti-Semitic. 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 to say that we are increasingly seen as a racist party. This issue alone compels me to resign the whip.
The second reason is that a culture of intolerance, nastiness, and intimidation now reigns in too many parts of the Party nationally and is sadly manifest within my own Constituency Labour Party (CLP) in Birkenhead.
Frank Field MP represented Birkenhead from almost 40 years but revealed in a letter to party chief whip Nick Brown that he could no longer serve the Labour party
This is, I fear, just one example of a phenomenon that has tightened its grip on CLPs across the country and is being driven, in part, by members who in previous years would never have been able to claim Labour Party membership.My original submission to the Party on a specific bullying issue goes back eighteen months. Many submissions have since come from me as well as from loyal Party members. No decisive action has been taken.
At best, the Party’s failure to act on these numerous complaints about the thuggish conduct of some members demonstrates a wilful denial. At worst, it serves to legitimise appalling levels of bullying and intimidation of lifelong Labour supporters…
Frank Field said the leadership is overseeing the ‘erosion of our core values’ which he firmly believes in
… I intend to continue to represent Birkenhead in Westminster, as I have had the honour to do so for almost 40 years, and I will do so as an Independent Labour Member. I shall of course remain a Party member as I have been since 1960. The values I have espoused during this time will be the same that will continue to govern my conduct and I also intend, providence willing, to represent those views when the next election is called.
Few events would give me greater pleasure than to apply to the Parliamentary Labour Party for the whip. But great changes in the leadership’s stance on the issues outlined in this letter will need to take place before I will be able to do so.