4 December 2019 | UK NEWS
Ivan Lewis, a former Labour MP who served in various ministerial positions under the New Labour government but is now contesting his seat of Bury South as an independent candidate, has taken to Facebook to advise his voters that, under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, the party “is not the Labour Party of our parents and grandparents”.
Mr Lewis further tells his constituents that “voting Conservative in Bury South is the only way to make sure Brexit is delivered, protect our national security and make sure the economy doesn’t crash with devastating consequences for working and vulnerable people”, adding that “the only way to stop Corbyn in Bury South is to vote Conservative”.
Adding that “this is not a decision I have taken lightly”, Mr Lewis – who is himself Jewish – further addressed the issue of anti-Semitism within the party, urging voters in his constituency that voting Conservative “the only way for decent people of all faiths and none to say no to anti-Semitism”. He also attacked the Labour Party’s “free-for-all” Manifesto and critised Mr Corbyn’s “hostility to our key intelligence allies”.
Separately, the left-leaning political publication The New Statesman has refused to endorse the Labour Party in this election today, which it always has previously and did in 2017. The paper, which was first published in 1913 and has a long history of affiliation with Labour, launched a scathing attack in an article on its website, saying that: “[Mr Corbyn’s] reluctance to apologise for the anti-Semitism in Labour and to take a stance on Brexit, the biggest issue facing the country, make him unfit to be Prime Minister”.
Its article also cites the recent intervention by the Chief Rabbi to condemn the Labour leadership, and further quotes from an open letter sent to the paper by Anthony Julius, a senior lawyer and academic, in which Mr Julius said that “a party that cannot be trusted in relation to Jews cannot be trusted at all”.
The piece leads with similarly scathing criticism for Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party – which is a typical stance for this publication – but ends with the attack on Jeremy Corbyn, which is very much not. Towards the end, its authors write that they have “resolved to endorse no party at this General Election”.
As this General Election campaign draws to a close, will bring you any further updates on shifting allegiances in Westminster as they come in.