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Brexit: Chuka Umunna decamps from UK’s Labour Party

Brexit: Chuka Umunna decamps from UK’s Labour Party
February 18
20:59 2019
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Chuka Umunna, a British member of parliament with Nigerian descent, has pulled out of the ruling Labour Party, alongside six other members of his party.

Luciana Berger, Gavin Shuker, Angela Smith, Chris Leslie, Mike Gapes and Ann Coffey were the other six who resigned alongside Umunna from the party led by Jeremy Corbyn.

The seven lawmakers say they will sit as a new independent group in the UK parliament.

According to The Guardian, Berger, the MP for Liverpool Wavertree, said it had been a “difficult, painful but necessary decision” for them all.

Berger said she had become “embarrassed and ashamed” to be in the Labour Party because of its failure to tackle antisemitism in its ranks.

“I am leaving behind a culture of bullying bigotry and intimidation. I look forward to a future serving with colleagues who respect each other,” she said.

Chris Leslie at a press briefing said: “The Labour party we joined that we campaigned for and believed in is no longer today’s Labour Party … it has now been hijacked by the machine politics of the hard left”.

“Evidence of Labour’s betrayal on Europe is now visible for all to see. Offering to actually enable this government’s Brexit – constantly holding back from allowing the public a final say.”

In a statement released by the group, Umunna and colleagues said: “Our primary duty as Members of Parliament is to put the best interests of our constituents and our country first. Yet like so many others, we believe that none of today’s political parties are fit to provide the leadership and direction needed by our country.”

“Our aim is to pursue policies that are evidence-based, not led by ideology, taking a long-term perspective to the challenges of the 21st century in the national interest, rather than locked in the old politics of the 20th century in the party’s interests.

“As an Independent Group we aim to recognise the value of healthy debate, show tolerance towards different opinions and seek to reach across outdated divides and build consensus to tackle Britain’s problems.”

Umunna was adopted as the Labour party’s prospective parliamentary candidate for streamham in 2008 and polled a majority of 3,259 votes at the 2010 general election to become an elected member of parliament for streamham.

His Nigerian father, Bennett, died in a road accident in his homeland in 1992. His English mother, Patricia, is a solicitor and daughter of Sir Helenus Milmo QC, the Anglo-Irish high court judge.

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