Jewish Labour MP Ivan Lewis has resigned the Labour Party whip, saying that he “could no longer reconcile my Jewish identity and current Labour politics”. Accusing Jeremy Corbyn and Seumas Milne, Mr Corbyn’s Executive Director of Strategy and Communications, of treating Jews differently, he also revealed that Mr Corbyn had sacked him from the front bench by text message after Mr Lewis requested a meeting to discuss antisemitism with him.
The news comes as lawyers for Campaign Against Antisemitism submitted legal arguments to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, seeking to trigger a statutory investigation into antisemitism in the Party. Additionally, almost 50,000 people have signed a petition calling on Labour MPs to act over Mr Corbyn’s antisemitism.
Gideon Falter, Chairman of Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “It is very sad that after over 20 years as a Labour MP, Ivan Lewis felt morally compelled to resign the Labour whip because the Party that was fiercely anti-racist when he joined it has now become infested with antisemitism. It is inevitable that if a political party is led by an antisemite who lets Jew-hatred run rampant, people of conscience will leave. The indications are that others may now follow where Ivan Lewis and Frank Field have led.”
I'm resigning from @UKLabour, but will continue to stand up for the people of Bury South as an Independent MP in the @HouseofCommons. Read my resignation letter to Jeremy Corbyn. pic.twitter.com/YNmqRVclvR
— Ivan Lewis (@IvanLewis_MP) December 20, 2018