MP Ian Austin has quit the Labour Party over its “culture of extremism, anti-Semitism and intolerance.”
The Member of Parliament for Dudley North, who is pro-Brexit, insists he will not be joining the newly formed Independent Group which is pushing for a second referendum.
Ian Austin is the latest MP to quit the Labour party this week
Who is Ian Austin?
Ian Austin was born on March 6, 1965, and adopted by two school teachers.
His father was a Czech Jew who fled the Nazis in 1939.
He was elected as a councillor in Dudley in 1991 before becoming a press officer for the West Midlands Labour Party and deputy director of communications for the Scottish Labour Party in the late-90s.
In 1999, he was appointed political adviser to Gordon Brown and became one of the then-Chancellor’s most trusted confidantes.
Mr Austin became an MP in 2005.
PA:Press Association/PA Images Ian Austin says he is ‘ashamed’ of the Labour party under Jeremy Corbyn
Why has he quit Labour?
Mr Austin said he has become “ashamed” of the party under leader Jeremy Corbyn.
In a furious blast, he claimed party bosses were tougher on the people who expose anti-Semitism than on the racists themselves.
The 53-year-old has long been one of Mr Corbyn’s fiercest critics.
He announced his resignation in his local Express & Star newspaper.
The MP said: “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 Jeremy Corbyn.
“I am appalled at the offence and distress Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party have caused to Jewish people.
“The hard truth is that the party is tougher on the people complaining about anti-Semitism than it is on the anti-Semites.”
He was on the front benchers under both Mr Brown and Ed Miliband, but when Mr Corbyn became leader he was cast into the wilderness.
In 2018 party chiefs launched a formal probe into Mr Austin after he called Labour’s anti-Semitism rules a “disgrace”.
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Why won’t he be joining The Independent Group?
Mr Austin is the ninth Labour MP to leave the party this week, but said he’s not planning to join the anti-Brexit Independent Group founded by Chuka Umunna.
Mr Austin represents a pro-Leave seat.
He is backing Theresa May’s Brexit deal.
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