Anti-Semitism row: Frank Field resigns Labour whip

Labour Party protests

Demonstrators staged a protest against anti Semitism in the Labour Party in April

The Labour veteran Frank Field has resigned the party whip and warned that Jeremy Corbyn's leadership has become a "force for anti-Semitism".

In a statement released on Thursday, Field said he had "reluctantly" written to Labour's chief whip, Nick Brown, to tender his resignation, and would sit as an independent Labour MP - sparking fears that other disgruntled MPs could follow.

Mr Field also hit out at his local division of the party, describing it as the second factor that drove him to quit.

Field said he was no longer able to tolerate his party's leadership which he called "a force for anti-Semitism in British politics".

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Mr Field made the decision to resign the whip citing the ongoing antisemitism row and a "culture of intolerance, nastiness and intimidation" within the party.

"Reports of bullying, intimidation and nastiness are rife on social media taken along with the drift in the Labour Party to the extreme left and its association with racist and anti-Semitic views this Corbynite Labour party must cut most moderate Labour members to the bone - Mr Field is right to call them out on this".

My original submission to the party on a specific bullying issue goes back eighteen months.

Most recently he has been widely criticised for laying a wreath at a cemetery where members of the terrorist group Black September, who massacred Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics, are also buried. At best, the Party's failure to act on these numerous complaints about the thuggish conduct of some members demonstrates a wilful denial.

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He specifically discussed the case of controversial Labour councillor Louise Reecejones, calling her behaviour "atrocious" and insisting she is not fit for public office. That Ms Reecejones should not be a member of the Party, let alone represent us in public positions, has been underscored by decisions taken by Wirral Council.

Looking to the future, he said: "I intend to continue to represent Birkenhead in Westminster, as I have had the honour to do so for nearly 40 years, and I will do so as an independent Labour Member". I shall of course remain a Party member as I have been since 1960.

Few events would give me greater pleasure than to apply to the Parliamentary Labour Party for the whip.

He concludes by saying that "great changes in the leadership's stance" will be needed for him to consider re-joining the Labour Party.

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