Now-ex Labour MP Frank Field announced yesterday that he was resigning the Labour whip with the intention of remaining in Parliament as an independent MP. In spite of his recent claimed conversion to the sovereignty of constituents over party members – he is on record dismissing the importance of constituents’ views previously – he has not said he will resign as an MP to let them choose whether they want him as an independent.
Field resigned – of course – as appears to be the recent pattern for resigning Labour MPs, with a scorched-earth diatribe accusing Labour members of ‘local thuggery’ – and accusing Labour (surprise) of antisemitism. This is again a bit rich to say the least, as Field has previously attacked a Jewish peer, calling him:
a leading member of the Jewish community applying Nazi attitudes towards the poor
in language that would unquestionably have been dredged up and called antisemitic, were he a left-winger instead of a right-winger.
Field is also deeply unpopular with his members, who had already voted no confidence in him and demanded withdrawal of the Labour whip well before Field resigned it.
But – again typically of the Labour right – Field appears to have given little thought to the effect of his smears on Labour members, particularly Jewish members. A local, newly-elected, Jewish councillor in a ward bordering on Field’s Birkenhead constituency, wrote a letter to the SKWAWKBOX for publication, in which she criticises his departing claims – and attacks him for not focusing on issues that matter to the local people he supposedly considers ‘sovereign’:
Frankly fed up
I am a newly elected Labour councillor who is Jewish, in a ward bordering Birkenhead. Frank Field MP chose to use antisemitism as his excuse to resign from the Labour whip. I am frankly fed up of anti-Jewish racism being used as a political weapon to attack Labour.
Since Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader a few years ago, my lived Jewish experience is a ‘broad church’ Labour Party showing solidarity and support to the many as well as the Jews.
More than 100 members from all wings of Wirral Labour Party worked together to elect me, in our successful local by-election this month. We spoke with over 2,100 residents and I heard no-one raise the issue of antisemitism.
Unlike Frank Field, my constituents’ highest priority is ending cruel Conservative government cuts to services we all rely on. The New Ferry part of my ward was devastated by a huge explosion in March last year and the government’s response is shockingly pathetic.
Cllr Jo Bird
Labour councillor for Brombrough and New Ferry
An explosion in New Ferry in March razed a large area of the town’s centre. The Tory government has refused to provide financial help to the town or its people.
Frank Field has been contacted for comment.
Councillor Bird’s view is typical of that of many Jewish people rarely given voice by an Establishment falling over themselves to smear the Labour Party and its media – and typical of the many Jewish Labour members who are not right-wingers eager to topple Jeremy Corbyn.
Her righteous anger at an MP happy to grandstand to gain airtime for more smears rather than spend his energy fighting for local people is palpable and justified – as is her outrage and frustration at the false picture Field and others paint of the party she represents.
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