Seven members of UK Labour Party quit over Brexit, anti-Semitism concerns

Seven lawmakers in the United Kingdom's left-leaning Labour Party have formally quit the party after voicing their concerns over their party leader's strategy for Brexit negotiations as well as concerns that anti-Semitism is not being adequately addressed in the party.

Reuters reports that the group will sit in British Parliament as independent lawmakers rather than immediately join another political group. A website identified on social media as belonging to the group returned an error and appeared to be offline Monday morning.

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“The Labour Party that we joined that we campaigned for and believed in is no longer today’s Labour Party. We did everything we could to save it, but it has now been hijacked by the machine politics of the hard left,” one lawmaker in the group, Chris Leslie, told reporters on Monday.

“Evidence of Labour’s betrayal on Europe is now visible for all to see. Offering to actually enable this government’s Brexit, constantly holding back from allowing the public a final say," he continued, according to Reuters.

The defections come as the party has seen gains in polling in recent weeks as well as record gains of 262 seats in a 2017 snap election called by British Prime Minister Theresa May in an attempt to cement her Conservative Party's own parliamentary majority.

Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party's leader, has worked to control and address accusations of anti-Semitism within the party but has faced questions himself over both his management of the Brexit political battle as well as anti-Semitism.

“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," Corbyn said in a brief statement Monday, according to Reuters.