Mary Honeyball, a Labour MEP for 19 years, quits party over 'shameful' inaction on antisemitism

She did not run for re-election on Thursday and announced her resignation after the polls closed


A woman who served as a Labour Member of the European Parliament for 19 years has quit the party, citing the leadership's “shameful” lack of action on antisemitism as one of her reasons to go.

Mary Honeyball, an outgoing MEP who represented London from 2000, decided not to stand in Thursday’s European Parliamentary elections. She waited until voting had ended to announce her decision, telling the Evening Standard it “had not been easy.”

As well as“the party’s disastrous stance on Brexit”, she also decried how “shamefully, the Labour Leadership have done nothing like enough to purge the Labour Party of the racism shown towards its Jewish members.”

She said she believed “the antisemitism currently infecting the Labour party” was derived from “the Labour Leadership’s animosity towards Israel.

“Although the state of Israel and the Jewish people are two completely different things, Corbyn and his allies appear to see fit to view them as virtually one and the same,” she said. 

Ms Honeyball’s resignation is the latest of a number of similar moves by senior Labour figures.

Last week, Bridget Prentice, MP for Lewisham East from 1992 to 2010, resigned from the party, criticising Labour’s “slow, reluctant and inadequate” response to antisemitism in general, and Mr Corbyn in particular.

Sheila Murphy, the party’s former north west regional director, also quit, saying she felt like she had been in “an abusive relationship”, adding: “With antisemitism, they try and tell you it’s not happened in the Party – but it certainly is.”

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