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Corbyn Faces Major Crisis As Deputy Leader Warns More MPs are Ready to Quit Party

LONDON – Jeremy Corbyn faces a historic Labor rupture after being warned that more MPs are ready to follow the seven who dramatically quit his party on Monday, Independent reported in the wee hours of Monday.
The leader publicly appealed for unity while his supporters launched savage attacks on the MPs, branding them “cowards”, “traitors” and “splitters” and demanding they give up their seats.
But as the crisis deepened, deputy leader Tom Watson said other MPs are also considering leaving Labor, a party he admitted he sometimes no longer recognizes, amid visceral anger over antisemitism, Brexit and Mr Corbyn’s leadership.
The breakaway MPs headed by prominent backbenchers Chuka Umunna and Luciana Berger said they would form a new “Independent Group” in the House of Commons and invited people from other parties to join.
There were some early signs on Monday evening that they might attract support from disenfranchised Conservatives to the new center-ground anti-Brexit grouping in the chamber.
The group who left Labor, in the first major split of a British political party since the SDP were formed in 1981, also included Angela Smith, Gavin Shuker, Mike Gapes, Chris Leslie and Ann Coffey.
Shortly after the announcement, Mr Corbyn wrote to every party member expressing his disappointment that a “small group” had left and urged the party “must be united”.
But in a longer filmed statement, Mr Watson lamented their departure and in particular the antisemitic abuse suffered by Ms Berger that had preceded her announcement.
Even a single incident of antisemitism in the Labor Party shames us. Now we have lost Luciana, one of our most dedicated and courageous MPs, he said
“If someone like Luciana no longer believes there is a home for her in the Labor Party then many other colleagues will be asking themselves how they can stay.”
One source involved in the split on Monday told The Independent that other MPs were close to quitting and would follow depending on what happened over Brexit in the coming weeks.
In his statement, Mr Watson said that “a virulent form of identity politics has seized” control of Labor, and said Mr Corbyn’s team now must “reflect the balance of opinion” across all MPs in the parliamentary party.
He also lashed out the “hard Left”, who he claimed “can be too easily tempted into the language of heresy and treachery”.
It came after the MPs faced a wave of abuse in the wake of their decision to leave, including fellow MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle who compared them to “cowards”.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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