Seven Labour MPs have quit the party mentioning the leadership’s lack of support for remaining in the European Union and for not tackling anti-semitism. The MPs will sit as independents and are Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger, Chris Leslie, Angela Smith, Mike Gapes, Gavin Shuker and Ann Coffey.
Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, has said that Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition, deserves “unequivocal condemnation” after it was confirmed that the Labour leader had attended a memorial service for the terrorists involved in the Munich Games massacre.
Corbyn rejected the criticism and referring to the wreath laid in memory of the terrorists, “I was present when it was laid. I don’t think I was actually involved in it”. He added on Twitter “what deserves unequivocal condemnation is the killing of over 160 Palestinian protesters in Gaza by Israeli forces since March, including dozens of children”.
Luciana Berger, the Labour MP for Liverpool Wavertree, posted on Twitter:
“Being “present” is the same as being involved. When I attend a memorial, my presence alone, whether I lay a wreath or not, demonstrates my association & support. There can also never be a “fitting memorial” for terrorists. Where is the apology?”
Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition, has been criticised for anti-semitism after he called for a mural to be kept which was anti-semitic. The mural, entitled ‘Freedom of Humanity’, was removed from East London in 2012.
At the time Corbyn had posted on Facebook referring to its removal:
“Why? You are in good company. Rockerfeller [sic] destroyed Diego Viera’s mural because it includes a picture of Lenin”.
Luciana Berger, the Labour MP for Liverpool Wavertree, had earlier said on Twitter:
“I asked the Leader’s Office for an explanation about this Facebook post first thing this morning. I’m still waiting for a response”.
After being asked about his comments Corbyn said:
“I sincerely regret that I did not look more closely at the image I was commenting on, the contents of which are deeply disturbing and anti-Semitic”.
Berger responded by saying that Corbyn’s response had been “wholly inadequate”.
Ian Austin, the Labour MP for Dudley North, also criticised his leader, saying:
“Jeremy would never have defended racist imagery aimed at any other group”.
Joshua Bonehill-Paine, a 23-year male, has been charged with a hate crime against Luciana Berger, the Labour MP for Liverpool Wavertree. The offences were alleged to have taken place on social media between October 2014 and January 2015.