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Labour resignations: Who are the MPs quitting the party?


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The seven former Labour MPs have become the Independent Group

After months of rumours swirling around Westminster that Labour MPs might break away, seven have resigned from the party.

But who are the MPs forming the “Independent Group” in the House of Commons?

Luciana Berger

Constituency: MP for Liverpool Wavertree since 2010

Majority in the last election: 29,466

Referendum result: 35% Leave, 65% Remain

Positions: Shadow minister for energy and climate change between October 2010 and October 2013, shadow minister for public health between October 2013 and September 2015, shadow minister for mental health between September 2015 and June 2016

Ms Berger recently faced a motion of no confidence, in her constituency party – but it was withdrawn after individuals in the constituency party were accused of “bullying” her. Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said any attempts to deselect her had been a result of her association with a breakaway party.

She attended a protest against anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, in Westminster’s Parliament Square in March 2018, and has campaigned vigorously on the issue.

Ann Coffey MP

Constituency: MP for Stockport since 1992

Majority in the last election: 14,477

Referendum result: 47% Leave, 53% Remain

Positions: Opposition whip between January 1995 and January 1996, shadow spokeswoman for health between January 1996 and June 1997,

Along with fellow MP Margaret Hodge, Ms Coffey put forward a no-confidence motion against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, in 2016.

Mike Gapes

Constituency: MP for Ilford South since 1992

Majority in the last election: 31,647

Referendum result: 43% Leave, 57% Remain

Positions: Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee between 2005 and 2010

A Europhile and a founding member of the Clause Four Group in 1974, Mr Gapes has long disagreed with Jeremy Corbyn on a number of issues. He recently launched an attack on the Labour leader for refusing to meet Prime Minister Theresa May for Brexit talks and has publicly disagreed with his stance on foreign policy.

The Jewish Chronicle reported in August 2018 that Gapes was set to quit, with him describing the party as a “horrible place to be”.

Chris Leslie

Constituency: MP for Nottingham East since 2010, MP for Shipley between 1997 and 2005

Majority in the last election: 19,590

Referendum result: 43% Leave, 57% Remain

Positions: Parliamentary Secretary at the Cabinet Office between June 2001 and May 2002, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister between May 2002 and June 2003, Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Department for Constitutional Affairs between June 2003 and May 2005, shadow treasury minister between October 2013 and October 2013, shadow chief secretary to the treasury between October 2013 and May 2015, shadow chancellor between May 2015 and Sep 2015

Mr Leslie was first elected when he was 24, making him the “Baby of the House”.

He recently said Jeremy Corbyn would “betray Labour” if the Labour leader prevented a further referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU. In September 2018, he lost a vote of no confidence, in his constituency, which cited his “repeated attempts… to undermine the leadership”. He responded by saying Labour was “no longer a broad church” and denounced the grassroots movement Momentum as “the [Trotskyite] Militant [Tendency] for the digital age”.

Angela Smith

Constituency: MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge since 2010, MP for Sheffield Hillsborough between 2005 and 2010

Majority in the last election: 1,322

Referendum result: 61% Leave, 39% Remain

Positions: Shadow minister between 2010 and 2015

In 2016, Ms Smith voted against triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which began negotiations for the UK to leave the European Union, saying she was voting “against an unrealistic timetable as far as parliamentary scrutiny is concerned”.

Gavin Shuker

Constituency: MP for Luton South since 2010

Majority in the last election: 13,925

Referendum result: 55% Leave, 45% Remain

Positions: Shadow minister of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs between March 2011 to October 2013, shadow minister for the Department for International Development between October 2013 and September 2015

Mr Shuker lost a vote of no confidence by 33 votes to three, in his constituency party. He then said he would remain as an MP, adding: “I’ve not changed – but the Labour party has.”

Chuka Umunna

Constituency: MP for Streatham since 2010

Majority in the last election: 26,285

Referendum result: 21% Leave, 79% Remain

Positions: Shadow minister between 2010 and 2015

Mr Umunna is one of the faces of the People’s Vote campaign, launched in April 2018 to push for a further referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU.



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