Veteran Birkenhead MP Frank Field has resigned the Labour whip. No indication has been given that he intends to step down as an MP and trigger a by-election.
Field has long been controversial and considered on the hard right of the party, causing outrage by agreeing to sit as Tory PM David Cameron’s ‘poverty czar’, a position from which he supported the idea of compulsory ‘workfare’ for the unemployed rather than benefits:
More recently, he outraged many Labour members as one of four MPs who squandered a chance to bring down Theresa May and her government in a vital EU vote.
Field has suffered a number of reverses in his local party recently, including a vote of no confidence going against him. His resignation letter bleated about a ‘culture of intolerance and intimidation‘ and – you’ve guessed it – dragging out the antisemitism smear.
It’s unlikely that his local members will much miss him, even without the smears, since he has been boycotting constituency meetings since taking offence at the taking of the above photograph of him during one.
Field has not resigned from the party – but if he does not, he may well be the subject of a torrent of complaints for bringing Labour into disrepute.
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