Ian Austin has become the ninth MP to quit Labour this week, blaming leader Jeremy Corbyn for “creating a culture of extremism and intolerance”.
He told the BBC the leadership had failed to tackle anti-Semitism and had turned the party into a “narrow sect”.
The MP for Dudley North said he had no plans to join the new Independent Group of former Labour and Tory MPs.
Mr Austin told the Express & Star newspaper, which first broke the news of his resignation, that it was the “most difficult decision” he had ever had to take but that he was now “ashamed” of the party.
“I grew up listening to my dad, who was a refugee from the Holocaust, teaching me about the evils of hatred and prejudice,” he said.
“One of the main reasons I joined the Labour Party as a teenager here in Dudley more than 35 years ago was to fight racism and I could never have believed I would be leaving the Labour party because of racism too.”
Last year Labour opened up an investigation into Ian Austin over his complaints against the Labour leadership. It is believed the Labour leadership took this tactic in an attempt to silence Mr Austin. At the time, Austin revealed copies of letters from his lawyers amid the ongoing anti-Semitism crisis within the Labour party.
Mr Austin said: “Almost three weeks ago Labour told me I was being investigated.
“My lawyers replied last week asking for details and saying “the Labour Party has failed to observe the most rudimentary principles of natural justice, due process and transparency.”
“It says the party is “prejudging the complaints” and “This process has been a farce and a disgrace. It has plainly been designed to silence our client for his legitimate, honestly-held criticisms of Mr Corbyn’s failure to address the scourge of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.”
It is, therefore, no surprise that Ian Austin has now left the Labour party. However, it is a shame. Mr Austin has been a strong advocate for Israel within the party and spoken out strongly against anti-Semitism. We wish him all the best in the future.