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8th lawmaker quits UK’s Labour over anti-Semitism and Brexit

February 19, 2019
Britain's main opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks during the annual conference of the EEF manufacturers organisation at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London, Tuesday Feb. 19, 2019. Seven British lawmakers quit the Labour Party on Monday over its approach to Brexit and alleged anti-Semitism, the biggest shake-up in years for one of Britain's major political parties. (Stefan Rousseau/PA via AP)

LONDON (AP) — An eighth lawmaker has quit Britain’s Labour Party over its handling of anti-Semitism and Brexit, boosting a new breakaway group from the U.K.’s main opposition party.

Joan Ryan announced late Tuesday that after four decades in the party she was leaving Labour to sit with the newly formed Independent Group in Parliament.

Ryan said the party had become “infected with the scourge of anti-Jewish racism” under left-wing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, a longtime supporter of the Palestinians.

Seven Labour legislators quit Monday, accusing Corbyn of failing to stamp out anti-Semitism in the party and of mounting a weak opposition to Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May’s plans for leaving the European Union.

The breakaway lawmakers hope to gain members from among disgruntled pro-Europeans in both the Labour and Conservative parties.

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