Labour Lord to leave party if Corbyn is re-elected leader


Lord Mitchell, a former Shadow Business Minister, has announced that he will resign the Labour whip if Jeremy Corbyn wins the leadership election.

The peer said he no longer wanted to be involved in the party if Mr Corbyn beat Owen Smith in the September poll.

“I just can’t stay if he’s the leader”, he told the JC.

“I’m Labour to the core, but if this man [Corbyn] is re-selected then I think he’s there at least until the next election and I want no part of it.”

“I do feel that there are points in your life where you have to say 'you know what, this is it. Stand up and be counted' and that’s what I’m doing.”

Lord Mitchell said that he was “incensed” by Mr Corbyn’s failure to defend Jewish MP Ruth Smeeth when she was verbally abused by a far-left activist at the launch of Shami Chakrabarti's antisemitism report.

What had also played a part in his decision was last week's announcement that Ms Chakrabarti had been nominated for a peerage - which Lord Mitchell described as a “thank you very much, job well done” gesture from Mr Corbyn.

The Labour peer, who was ennobled in 2000 and served as Shadow Business Minister from 2012 to 2013 under Ed Miliband, said Labour had been hijacked by left-wing activists.

“To me, this is not just Corbyn, this is a complete takeover of the Labour party from the hard left and Momentum", he said.

“This has been a hijack, they’ve taken the party over.”

He expressed his hope that British Jews would back his stance. He said: “I do feel that part of what I’m doing is saying to my community, look, guys, there are some of us who are prepared to stand our ground on this and all the support you can give people like me would be very much appreciated.”

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