A Labour MP has quit the party after 55 years as a member, saying she can no longer advocate voting for the party “when it risks Corbyn becoming PM”.

Louise Ellman said the decision was “truly agonising” and she hoped “that under different leadership I will be able to return to my political home.”

Pointing to the antisemitism scandal that had engulfed the party as the reason for her decision, the Liverpool Riverside MP, who has held her seat in parliament for 22-years, said she would not join anyone else and intended to sit as an independent. 

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Announcing her decision on Twitter, the 73-year-old wrote: “I have made the truly agonising decision to leave the Party after 55 years. I can no longer advocate voting Labour when it risks Corbyn becoming PM.”

In her resignation letter, which she attached to her post, Ms Ellman said the party was no longer a safe place for Jewish people, adding that its leader had to “bear responsibility” for the current state of affairs.

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UK news in pictures

1/50 16 October 2019

A man walks his dog through the fallen leaves in Clarkes Gardens, Allerton in Liverpool

2/50 15 October 2019

Police officers carry away an activist as Extinction Rebellion protesters block a road with a caravan in central London

3/50 14 October 2019

Queen Elizabeth II sits with Prince Charles on the Sovereign’s throne ahead of delivering the Queen’s Speech at the State Opening of Parliament

4/50 13 October 2019

Great Britain’s Joe Fraser competes on Parallel Bars during the World Gymnastics Championships in Stuttgart, Germany. He claimed GB’s second gold with his victory. The 20-year-old from Birmingham nailed his routine to score 15.0 then watched as a series of rivals failed to live up to his total

5/50 12 October 2019

St Helens players celebrate with the trophy after they won the Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford in Manchester. They beat Salford Red Devils 23-6

6/50 11 October 2019

Richard Ratcliffe, husband of British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe jailed in Tehran since 2016, holds his daughter Gabriella during a news conference in London. Their five-year-old daughter has arrived back in Britain, after making the “bittersweet” decision to bring her home

7/50 10 October 2019

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at Thornton Manor. Their meeting focused on further Brexit proposals

8/50 9 October 2019

Wales survived an almighty scare against Fiji to secure quarter-final spot at the rugby world cup. Warren Gatland’s side recovered from a 10-0 deficit thanks to a hat-trick from Josh Adams

9/50 8 October 2019

Protesters dubbed the Red Rebels at Millbank at the junction with Great College Street, during an Extinction Rebellion protest in Westminster

10/50 7 October 2019

Final preparations are made in front of a reproduction of Michelangelo’s ‘The Last Judgement’, ahead of the opening of for the ‘Michelangelo: A Different View’ exhibition at Hull Minister

11/50 6 October 2019

A car drives through a flooded street in Whitley Bay in Northumberland

12/50 5 October 2019

Thousands took to the streets of Edinburgh today to march in support of a second Scottish independence referendum

13/50 4 October 2019

A 12ft sculpture of a gorilla, entitled ‘Gorilla Apocalypse’, created by Luke Kite entirely from scrap car bumpers and panels discarded in the last decade is on display at the British Ironwork Centre in Oswestry, Shropshire

14/50 3 October 2019

Police stands in front of the Treasury building during an Extinction Rebellion protest in London

15/50 2 October 2019

Ex-Thomas Cook employees demonstrate in London after delivering a petition calling for a full inquiry into Thomas Cook’s collapse and for the company’s directors to pay back their bonuses

16/50 1 October 2019

A road in Alum Rock, Birmingham is flooded after persistent heavy rain

17/50 30 September 2019

Two tourists pose for pictures in front of Union and EU flags outside the Houses of Parliament in London

18/50 29 September 2019

A sheep on London Bridge as Freemen of the City of London took up their historic entitlement to drive sheep over the bridge, which was once London’s only river crossing

19/50 28 September 2019

An Aldabra giant tortoise is fed watermelon as a treat at the Malvern Autumn Show, at the Three Counties Showground near Malvern in Worcestershire

20/50 27 September 2019

Gallery assistants pose with an artwork entitled ‘Devolved Parliament’ by British artist Banksy, during a press view in London ahead of Sotheby’s contemporary art sale, as part of the Frieze Art Fair

21/50 26 September 2019

England’s Jonathan Joseph is tackled by United State’s Marcel Brache during their group match at the Rugby World Cup in Japan. England scored seven tries on their way to winning 45-7

22/50 25 September 2019

Tributes for former Rangers player Fernando Ricksen at Ibrox Stadium. Today, the funeral procession will pass Ibrox Stadium before making the journey to Wellington Church

23/50 24 September 2019

A person dressed as a caricature of Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a prison uniform stands outside the Supreme Court after it ruled that his decision to suspend Parliament was illegal

24/50 23 September 2019

Thomas Cook aircraft are parked up at Manchester Airport on the day they collapsed after rescue talks failed. A total of 22,000 jobs – including 9,000 in UK – are to be lost following administration. More than 150,000 British holidaymakers need to be brought home, with the government and CAA hiring dozens of charter planes to fly customers home free of charge

25/50 22 September 2019

Fire performer Penella Bee performs before people take part in the North East Skinny Dip at Druridge Bay in Nothumberland, an annual event that marks the Autumn Equinox and raises money for MIND – the Mental Health Charity

26/50 21 September 2019

Protesters gather for a march and rally organised by “The People’s Vote” in Brighton, to call for politicians to give the public a final say referendum on Brexit

27/50 20 September 2019

Protesters in London joined millions across world to demand urgent action to save planet in the largest environmental protest in history

28/50 19 September 2019

Rapper Dave poses with the Mercury Prize: Albums of the Year Award at Apollo

29/50 18 September 2019

A surfer in action during sunrise at Tynemouth on the north east coast

30/50 17 September 2019

Protesters dressed as the Incredible Hulk and Robocop outside the Supreme Court in London where judges are due to consider legal challenges to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament. The Supreme Court will hear appeals over three days from two separate challenges to the prorogation of Parliament brought in England and Scotland

31/50 16 September 2019

Farmer Tom Hoggard harvests pumpkins at Howe Bridge Farm in Yorkshire, ahead of Halloween

32/50 15 September 2019

Team Europe celebrate winning the Solheim Cup at Gleneagles in Auchterarder, Scotland. Europe won the last three singles matches to claim victory 14½-13½
Sunset at St Mary’s Lighthouse in Whitley Bay

34/50 13 September 2019

Activists from PETA stage a demonstration outside a venue during London Fashion Week in London, Britain

35/50 12 September 2019

Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne attempts to stop a boundary in the fifth Test

36/50 11 September 2019

Storm clouds gather over the pier just off the North East coast at South Shields

37/50 10 September 2019

The peloton rides past the Angel of the North during stage four of the Tour of Britain from Gateshead to Kendal

38/50 9 September 2019

A penny farthing cyclist rides past St. John’s, Smith Square, Westminster, London

39/50 8 September 2019

Australia celebrate the wicket of England’s Craig Overton, which meant they won the fourth test and retained the Ashes

40/50 7 September 2019

Manchester City celebrate after Caroline Weir scored during their Women’s Super League match against Manchester United at Etihad Stadium. The WSL attendance record was smashed with 31,213 people watching the first Manchester derby of Women’s Super League era – nearly six times the previous WSL record

41/50 6 September 2019

A bull bumps into a plain clothes police officer (left) while being walked by Prime Minister Boris Johnson during his visit to Darnford Farm in Banchory near Aberdeen. It coincided with the publication of Lord Bew’s review and an announcement of extra funding for Scottish farmers

42/50 5 September 2019

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon cuts the hair of David Torrance MSP raising £1000 for the charity Maggie’s Centre in Kirkcaldy at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh

43/50 4 September 2019

Australia’s David Warner looks dejected after being dismissed by England’s Stuart Broad during day one of the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford in Manchester

44/50 3 September 2019

Anti Brexit demonstrators attend a protest at Parliament Square. Lawmakers returned from their summer recess Tuesday for a pivotal day in British politics as they challenged Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s insistence that the UK leave the European Union on 31 October, even without a withdrawal agreement to cushion the economic blow

45/50 2 September 2019

Set building begins on Waterloo Place in Edinburgh ahead of filming for Fast and Furious 9

46/50 1 September 2019

Members of the Royal Southern Yacht Club and the Island Sailing Club take part during the annual cricket match between the clubs, which takes place on the Bramble Bank sandbank in the middle of the Solent at low tide
Anti-Brexit protesters demonstrate at Whitehall in London

48/50 30 August 2019

One of the iconic ‘Girl with Balloon’ artworks by anonymous street artist Banksy is carried near one of the original locations the artwork appeared at on the Southbank in London

49/50 29 August 2019

The sun rises over the sculpture “The Couple” by artist Sean Henry, at Newbiggin-by-the-sea in Northumberland

50/50 28 August 2019

A person wearing a Boris Johnson ‘head’ digs a grave at the foot of a tombstone during a protest organised by Avaaz and Best for Britain, outside Downing Street in London
A man walks his dog through the fallen leaves in Clarkes Gardens, Allerton in Liverpool

2/50 15 October 2019

Police officers carry away an activist as Extinction Rebellion protesters block a road with a caravan in central London

3/50 14 October 2019

Queen Elizabeth II sits with Prince Charles on the Sovereign’s throne ahead of delivering the Queen’s Speech at the State Opening of Parliament

4/50 13 October 2019

Great Britain’s Joe Fraser competes on Parallel Bars during the World Gymnastics Championships in Stuttgart, Germany. He claimed GB’s second gold with his victory. The 20-year-old from Birmingham nailed his routine to score 15.0 then watched as a series of rivals failed to live up to his total

5/50 12 October 2019

St Helens players celebrate with the trophy after they won the Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford in Manchester. They beat Salford Red Devils 23-6

6/50 11 October 2019

Richard Ratcliffe, husband of British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe jailed in Tehran since 2016, holds his daughter Gabriella during a news conference in London. Their five-year-old daughter has arrived back in Britain, after making the “bittersweet” decision to bring her home

7/50 10 October 2019

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at Thornton Manor. Their meeting focused on further Brexit proposals

8/50 9 October 2019

Wales survived an almighty scare against Fiji to secure quarter-final spot at the rugby world cup. Warren Gatland’s side recovered from a 10-0 deficit thanks to a hat-trick from Josh Adams

9/50 8 October 2019

Protesters dubbed the Red Rebels at Millbank at the junction with Great College Street, during an Extinction Rebellion protest in Westminster

10/50 7 October 2019

Final preparations are made in front of a reproduction of Michelangelo’s ‘The Last Judgement’, ahead of the opening of for the ‘Michelangelo: A Different View’ exhibition at Hull Minister

11/50 6 October 2019

A car drives through a flooded street in Whitley Bay in Northumberland

12/50 5 October 2019

Thousands took to the streets of Edinburgh today to march in support of a second Scottish independence referendum

13/50 4 October 2019

A 12ft sculpture of a gorilla, entitled ‘Gorilla Apocalypse’, created by Luke Kite entirely from scrap car bumpers and panels discarded in the last decade is on display at the British Ironwork Centre in Oswestry, Shropshire

14/50 3 October 2019

Police stands in front of the Treasury building during an Extinction Rebellion protest in London

15/50 2 October 2019

Ex-Thomas Cook employees demonstrate in London after delivering a petition calling for a full inquiry into Thomas Cook’s collapse and for the company’s directors to pay back their bonuses

16/50 1 October 2019

A road in Alum Rock, Birmingham is flooded after persistent heavy rain

17/50 30 September 2019

Two tourists pose for pictures in front of Union and EU flags outside the Houses of Parliament in London

18/50 29 September 2019

A sheep on London Bridge as Freemen of the City of London took up their historic entitlement to drive sheep over the bridge, which was once London’s only river crossing

19/50 28 September 2019

An Aldabra giant tortoise is fed watermelon as a treat at the Malvern Autumn Show, at the Three Counties Showground near Malvern in Worcestershire

20/50 27 September 2019

Gallery assistants pose with an artwork entitled ‘Devolved Parliament’ by British artist Banksy, during a press view in London ahead of Sotheby’s contemporary art sale, as part of the Frieze Art Fair

21/50 26 September 2019

England’s Jonathan Joseph is tackled by United State’s Marcel Brache during their group match at the Rugby World Cup in Japan. England scored seven tries on their way to winning 45-7

22/50 25 September 2019

Tributes for former Rangers player Fernando Ricksen at Ibrox Stadium. Today, the funeral procession will pass Ibrox Stadium before making the journey to Wellington Church

23/50 24 September 2019

A person dressed as a caricature of Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a prison uniform stands outside the Supreme Court after it ruled that his decision to suspend Parliament was illegal

24/50 23 September 2019

Thomas Cook aircraft are parked up at Manchester Airport on the day they collapsed after rescue talks failed. A total of 22,000 jobs – including 9,000 in UK – are to be lost following administration. More than 150,000 British holidaymakers need to be brought home, with the government and CAA hiring dozens of charter planes to fly customers home free of charge

25/50 22 September 2019

Fire performer Penella Bee performs before people take part in the North East Skinny Dip at Druridge Bay in Nothumberland, an annual event that marks the Autumn Equinox and raises money for MIND – the Mental Health Charity

26/50 21 September 2019

Protesters gather for a march and rally organised by “The People’s Vote” in Brighton, to call for politicians to give the public a final say referendum on Brexit

27/50 20 September 2019

Protesters in London joined millions across world to demand urgent action to save planet in the largest environmental protest in history

28/50 19 September 2019

Rapper Dave poses with the Mercury Prize: Albums of the Year Award at Apollo

29/50 18 September 2019

A surfer in action during sunrise at Tynemouth on the north east coast

30/50 17 September 2019

Protesters dressed as the Incredible Hulk and Robocop outside the Supreme Court in London where judges are due to consider legal challenges to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament. The Supreme Court will hear appeals over three days from two separate challenges to the prorogation of Parliament brought in England and Scotland

31/50 16 September 2019

Farmer Tom Hoggard harvests pumpkins at Howe Bridge Farm in Yorkshire, ahead of Halloween

32/50 15 September 2019

Team Europe celebrate winning the Solheim Cup at Gleneagles in Auchterarder, Scotland. Europe won the last three singles matches to claim victory 14½-13½
Sunset at St Mary’s Lighthouse in Whitley Bay

34/50 13 September 2019

Activists from PETA stage a demonstration outside a venue during London Fashion Week in London, Britain

35/50 12 September 2019

Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne attempts to stop a boundary in the fifth Test

36/50 11 September 2019

Storm clouds gather over the pier just off the North East coast at South Shields

37/50 10 September 2019

The peloton rides past the Angel of the North during stage four of the Tour of Britain from Gateshead to Kendal

38/50 9 September 2019

A penny farthing cyclist rides past St. John’s, Smith Square, Westminster, London

39/50 8 September 2019

Australia celebrate the wicket of England’s Craig Overton, which meant they won the fourth test and retained the Ashes

40/50 7 September 2019

Manchester City celebrate after Caroline Weir scored during their Women’s Super League match against Manchester United at Etihad Stadium. The WSL attendance record was smashed with 31,213 people watching the first Manchester derby of Women’s Super League era – nearly six times the previous WSL record

41/50 6 September 2019

A bull bumps into a plain clothes police officer (left) while being walked by Prime Minister Boris Johnson during his visit to Darnford Farm in Banchory near Aberdeen. It coincided with the publication of Lord Bew’s review and an announcement of extra funding for Scottish farmers

42/50 5 September 2019

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon cuts the hair of David Torrance MSP raising £1000 for the charity Maggie’s Centre in Kirkcaldy at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh

43/50 4 September 2019

Australia’s David Warner looks dejected after being dismissed by England’s Stuart Broad during day one of the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford in Manchester

44/50 3 September 2019

Anti Brexit demonstrators attend a protest at Parliament Square. Lawmakers returned from their summer recess Tuesday for a pivotal day in British politics as they challenged Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s insistence that the UK leave the European Union on 31 October, even without a withdrawal agreement to cushion the economic blow

45/50 2 September 2019

Set building begins on Waterloo Place in Edinburgh ahead of filming for Fast and Furious 9

46/50 1 September 2019

Members of the Royal Southern Yacht Club and the Island Sailing Club take part during the annual cricket match between the clubs, which takes place on the Bramble Bank sandbank in the middle of the Solent at low tide
Anti-Brexit protesters demonstrate at Whitehall in London

48/50 30 August 2019

One of the iconic ‘Girl with Balloon’ artworks by anonymous street artist Banksy is carried near one of the original locations the artwork appeared at on the Southbank in London

49/50 29 August 2019

The sun rises over the sculpture “The Couple” by artist Sean Henry, at Newbiggin-by-the-sea in Northumberland

50/50 28 August 2019

A person wearing a Boris Johnson ‘head’ digs a grave at the foot of a tombstone during a protest organised by Avaaz and Best for Britain, outside Downing Street in London

“I believe that Jeremy Corbyn is not fit to serve as our prime minister,” she said, adding: “With a looming general election and the possibility of him becoming prime minister, I feel I have to take a stand. I cannot advocate a government led by Jeremy Corbyn.

“Under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, antisemitism has become mainstream in the Labour Party. Jewish members have been bullied, abused and driven out.

“Antisemites have felt comfortable and vile conspiracy theories have been propagated. A party that permits anti-Jewish racism to flourish cannot be called anti-racist. This is not compatible with the Labour Party’s values of equality, tolerance and respect for minorities.

“Shamefully, its anti-Jewish racism is now being investigated by one of the last labour government’s proudest creations, the Equality and Human Rights Commission.”

Ms Ellman, who had faced deselection efforts from members of her constituency Labour Party, added: “Jeremy Corbyn – who spent three decades on the backbenches consorting with, and never confronting, antisemites, Holocaust deniers and terrorists – has attracted the support of too many antisemites.

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“The Labour Party is no longer a safe place for Jews and Jeremy Corbyn must bear the responsibility for this. We cannot allow him to do to the country what he has done to the Labour Party.”

A number of other MPS, including Ian Austin and Luciana Berger have also cited antisemitism as their reason for leaving the party. 

Mr Corbyn has been accused of not doing enough to tackle the issue, although Labour’s General Secretary Jennie Formby has said she has strengthened and speeded up the party’s disciplinary procedures, with more staff to handle investigations. 

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In a tweet, Harriet Harman described the resignation as “very sad news.”

“Thank you, Louise, for your terrific contribution to Parliament, politics and the Labour Party!” she said.

Tim Farron, the former Liberal Democrat leader, tweeted: “I’ve known Louise for 30 years. She was a supremely competent leader of Lancashire County Council, a skilful opponent and utterly dedicated to the Labour movement. If there’s no place for Louise Ellman in the 2019 Labour Party, they are finished as a serious force.”

A Labour spokesperson said Mr Corbyn “thanks Louise Ellman for her service to the Labour Party over many years.”  

They added that he and the party were “fully committed to the support, defence and celebration of the Jewish community and continue to take robust action to root out antisemitism in the party and wider society.”