Blackley and Broughton MP Graham Stringer has exclusively revealed that he will not be joining the breakaway Labour MPs and claims their resignations were down to Brexit – not anti-Semitism.
Seven Labour MPs resigned from the party yesterday in protest at what they insist is anti-Semitism in Jeremy Corbyn’s party.
Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger, Mike Gapes, Chris Leslie, Angela Smith, Ann Coffey and Gavin Shuker have now formed The Independent Group and other MPs are expected to follow.
Salford residents gave their thoughts about the seven MPs that have resigned and now Stringer has voiced his opinion.
The Labour MP for Blackley and Broughton expressed his disappointment at his departing colleagues but revealed that he would not be joining them in their new party.
And the MP claimed that Brexit is the real reason they are going.
He said: “I am very sad that they are leaving and I think they have left because they are strong remainers.
“They lost the referendum, lost the argument and lost the vote over the Brexit referendum.
“They could have resigned at any time if it was over anti–Semitism, I think the reason they resigned was over Brexit.”
Stringer, who became an MP in 1997, also expressed his concern that the departure of the seven MPs will have a negative effect on his party.
He added: “I think it will damage the party now they have left and hopefully no more MPs will follow them.
“I will be staying with Labour.”
Michael Rubenstein, Chair of anti-Semitism and racism on the Jewish Representative Council of Greater Manchester and Region, expressed a different viewpoint to Stringer, insisting that Labour has failed to combat the problem.
He said: “We don’t have political affiliation and we stand strongly against racism and anti-Semitism.
“There is evidence in the Labour Party that there is a problem with anti-Semitism and it hasn’t been dealt with.
“There will be other parties that will have their own problems too but we expect more from the Labour Party because they are all about human rights.”