LABOUR CRISIS: Ex-minister QUITS ‘cult’ party after 45 years over Corbyn anti-Semitism row

Bridget Prentice, who was MP for Lewisham East from 1992 to 2010, claimed the party had “been destroyed” under Mr Corbyn’s guidance. Ms Prentice, who served under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, stated “enough is enough” and Labour “no longer represents the values, aspirations or vision” it once had. The former junior minister for 18 years, insisted in recent years she had “watched in horror” as Jewish members highlighted their concerns with discrimination within the opposition party.

In a strongly worded letter, Ms Prentice said: “It is with the deepest sadness and some anger that I resign from the party as it is presently formed as it no longer represents the values, aspirations or vision that led me to join it so many years ago.”

On anti-Semitism, she added: “Over the past three years I have watched in horror as Jewish members have begged for support against the growth of anti-Semitism both within and out with the party.

“Mealy-mouthed words have replaced what should have been strong and determined condemnation of bigots and bullies.

“The response was slow, reluctant and inadequate.”

The self-confessed ‘Blairite’ said she joined the Labour Party and “not a cult”.

Ms Prentice also suggested anyone who questioned Mr Corbyn was subject to North Korean-style interrogation.

She added: “Never in my life in the party has a leader not been criticised, questioned, asked to justify a position – and rightly so.

“But that’s not allowed under the Corbyn cult. Anyone questioning the leadership’s position is vilified; complaints sent in to the disciplinary panel like something out of a North Korean rulebook that disloyalty to the leader is a criminal offence.”

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On Brexit, she said it was “clear to any objective observer that Jeremy has no wish to remain in Europe” and in his “limited thinking” he viewed the EU as a “bad thing”.

The Labour party has said its “disappointing” Ms Prentice has quit the party but refuted her claims about Mr Corbyn as “plainly untrue”.

Labour has also re-affirmed it is “absolutely committed” to tackle anti-Semitism.

A Labour spokesman said: “It is disappointing that Bridget Prentice has left the party but many claims in her letter are plainly untrue.

“Labour’s bold and popular policies under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership have changed the political conversation in this country and exposed the devastation caused by the Tories’ austerity agenda.

“Labour achieved the biggest increase in the share of the vote since 1945 in the 2017 general election and we are now one of the biggest political parties in Europe with an active and diverse membership.

“The Labour Party is absolutely committed to challenging and campaigning against anti-Semitism in all its forms and wherever it occurs.”



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