Frank Field says Labour have threatened to eject him over resignation


Veteran MP Frank Field has said he is considering triggering a by-election in his Birkenhead constituency.

Labour's shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon last night called on Mr Field to fight a by-election, tweeting: "Politicians who are elected as Labour MPs by their constituents and who then leave the Labour Party should do the right and respectful thing and call a by-election straight away". Mr Field - a Eurosceptic who has backed the Government in several Brexit votes - lost a confidence motion in his constituency party a month ago. 'It would have been a betrayal of the principles I have held for my entire political life, had I voted against the legislation, ' he said.

Mr Gapes could quit if the national executive committee, the party's ruling body, fails to adopt the full internationally-recognised definition of anti-Semitism on Tuesday.

Field has also criticised the gig economy, calling it "bogus self-employment ... peddled by those who benefit so handsomely from the gig economy, to avoid the obligations they have to their workforce".

Field told the Guardian that he was contemplating hiring a solicitor to fight any attempt to remove him from the party. This issue alone compels me to resign the whip. I said I would dispute that and appeal that. I am resigning the whip for two principal reasons.

However, Field said in his letter to Brown said he would seek to regain the party whip if and when the leadership tackled the problems in the party.

MP Mary Creagh said the fact Mr Field's local party wanted to deselect him "speaks volumes about the state of our party".

But speaking on BBC's Newsnight, Labour MP Chris Williamson said: "The only intolerance that I've seen is inside, or a section of the parliamentary Labour party who have not been prepared to honour the democratic decisions of Labour Party members".

Powell's speech criticized mass immigration, and said at the time that the Race Relations Bill, which eventually became law, would enable discrimination against the native population. This is, I fear, just one example of a phenomenon that has tightened its grip on CLPs across the country and is being driven, in part, by members who in previous years would never have been able to claim Labour Party membership. I shall of course remain a Party member as I have been since 1960. They continue to pay their Labour membership fees.

He added: "I will be looking for a solicitor, whoever that might be".

"I hope and I believe Jeremy will lead us into the next election and it is not true I'm a constant critic of Jeremy", said Mr Field. The case against Hodge was dropped.

The MP for Birkenhead told Labour's chief whip Nick Brown that the party's leadership was overseeing an "erosion of our core values".

"Second, the party must recognise the culture of intolerance, nastiness and intimidation that it has allowed to grow unchecked and expel local members whose public conduct is simply disgraceful". It reflects both the deep divisions in the party and the sense of drift engulfing us.