U.K. Lawmaker Frank Field Resigns Labour Whip Over Antisemitism

(Bloomberg) -- Long-standing Labour lawmaker Frank Field said he would sit in Parliament as an independent, in protest at what he said was a toleration of antisemitism within the party.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has spent recent months struggling to deal with complaints from British Jews about his past comments, as well as his long association with Palestinian groups -- including violent ones. Most recently, the party has been split over what definition of antisemitism to adopt.

“It saddens me to say that we are increasingly seen as a racist party,” Field wrote in a letter to Labour’s chief whip, Nick Brown. “The leadership is doing nothing substantive to address this erosion of our core values.”

Field has long been an outspoken member of Labour, at odds with successive leaders. He was one of a small number of the party’s lawmakers to campaign for Brexit. From that perspective, his departure is bearable for Corbyn, who has a difficult relationship with most Labour lawmakers. The question is whether others will follow Field, starting a deeper split in the party.

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