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February 22, 2019 10:54 am

Ninth Lawmaker Quits Britain’s Opposition Labour Party

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

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Britain’s opposition Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn leaves his house in London, Aug. 6, 2018. Photo: Reuters / Toby Melville.

British lawmaker Ian Austin resigned from the opposition Labour Party on Friday, the ninth person to do so this week, saying it was “broken” and had been taken over by the “hard left.”

Austin said he was appalled at the treatment of Jewish lawmakers who had taken a stand against antisemitism and that the “the party is tougher on the people complaining about antisemitism than it is on the antisemites.”

“The Labour Party has been my life, so this has been the hardest decision I have ever had to take, but I have to be honest and the truth is that I have become ashamed of the Labour Party under (leader) Jeremy Corbyn,” he told the Express and Star newspaper.

“I could never ask local people to make Jeremy Corbyn Prime Minister.”

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A Labour spokesman said the party regretted that Austin had decided to leave.

“He was elected as a Labour Member of Parliament and so the democratic thing is to resign his seat and let the people of Dudley decide who should represent them,” he said.

Austin said he did not currently have any plans to join The Independent Group in parliament, launched by seven of his former Labour colleagues on Monday and since joined by an eighth as well as three former members of the governing Conservatives.

A Labour lawmaker since 2005 and a former government minister, Austin supports Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal and is not in favor of holding a second referendum, putting him at odds with the other Independent Group members.

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