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Seven Labour MPs have resigned from the party to form The Independent Group

A group of seven Labour MPs have resigned from the party to sit in the House of Commons as independents, in the most significant split to hit the party since the breakaway of the Social Democratic Party in the early 1980s, ITV reported.

Luciana Berger, Chuka Umunna, Chris Leslie, Angela Smith, Mike Grapes, Gavin Shuker and Ann Coffrey are among the MPs from the party's centrist wing who have been the loudest critics of Jeremy Corbyn's leadership, his stance on Brexit and his handling of allegations of anti-Semitism.

Berger - the member of parliament for Liverpool Wavertree - told journalists: "This morning we have all now resigned from the Labour Party. This has been a very difficult, painful, but necessary decision.

"We represent different parts of the country, we are of different backgrounds, we were born of different generations, but we all share the same values.

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"From today, we will all sit in Parliament as a new independent group of MPs."

The MPs have launched a new group called The Independent Group and their website launched on Monday morning.

Leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn MP has said he is "disappointed" by the MPs' decision.

He said: "I am disappointed that these MPs have felt unable to continue to work together for the Labour policies that inspired millions at the last election and saw us increase our vote by the largest share since 1945.

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"Labour won people over on a programme for the many not the few – redistributing wealth and power, taking vital resources into public ownership, investing in every region and nation, and tackling climate change.

"The Conservative Government is bungling Brexit, while Labour has set out a unifying and credible alternative plan. When millions are facing the misery of Universal Credit, rising crime, homelessness and poverty, now more than ever is the time to bring people together to build a better future for us all."

Mike Gapes, a former chairman of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, told the conference: "I am sickened that the Labour Party is now a racist, anti-Semitic party."

The MP for Ilford South said: "I am furious that the Labour leadership is complicit in facilitating Brexit, which will cause great economic, social and political damage to our country."

Mr Gapes added: "Jeremy Corbyn and those around him are on the wrong side on so many international issues - from Russia, to Syria, to Venezuela.

"A Corbyn Labour government would threaten our national security and international alliances."

The decision comes after simmering tensions within Labour ranks have risen over Mr Corbyn's approach to Brexit and the party leadership's handling of anti-Semitism allegations are expected to result in a schism.

There has been anger from some pro-EU Labour MPs at Mr Corbyn's refusal to throw the party's weight behind calls for a so-called People's Vote on Brexit.

Via ITV and SKY News

My view: They were elected on a Labour manifesto not as independents, I think they should quit their constituency seats and call for by election.

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