Some UK Labour lawmakers to quit party over Brexit

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Seven parliamentarians left Britain's main opposition party Labour on Monday over the party's support for Brexit and failure to tackle anti-Semitism.

The Labour Party has faced a steady torrent of anti-Semitism scandals in recent years, with critics pointing to a new atmosphere of hate within the party since veteran campaigner Jeremy Corbyn took the leadership in 2015.

"This has been a very hard, painful but necessary decision", one of the MPs, Luciana Berger, said at a hastily arranged press conference in London, calling the party "institutionally anti-Semitic".

Luciana Berger, Gavin Shuker, Chuka Umunna, Ann Coffey, Mike Gapes, Angela Smith, Chris Leslie - have announced their resignation from the Labour party in a surprise press conference on Monday.

None of the current political parties in Westminster "are fit to provide the leadership and direction needed by our country", they said.

In a stinging attack on the party's recent difficulties, Ms Smith said: "Labour is a party now characterised by intolerance and fuelled by hatred for anything other than a hard left political agenda; it fosters division rather than unity and despises all those who dare to disagree with its fundamentalist approach to political debate".

As things stand, Labour now has 256 MPs, but this split would still be the largest division in the party since the formation of the UK's Social Democrats in the 1980s. She added she was leaving behind a culture of "bullying, bigotry and intimidation".

But their move underlines the increasing frustration within Labour over Corbyn's reluctance to change his Brexit strategy - the leftist leader and long-time critic of the European Union has stuck to his preference for a new election or his plan to leave the bloc.

A Labour source added: "These MPs stood under Jeremy Corbyn's leadership on a manifesto the whole party united around and saw their votes increase". Corbyn, who campaigned for a Remain vote, has always been a fierce critic of the European Union.

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She has campaigned resolutely for a more robust response to anti-semitism within the Labour Party.

Corbyn has also been criticised for months for his handling of cases of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, and his own past associations with Palestinian militants. The party's most staunch pro-EU MPs have been unhappy with Corbyn's approach to Brexit and his refusal to support a new referendum.

Mr Gapes, a former chairman of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, told the press conference: "I am sickened that the Labour Party is now a racist, antisemitic party".

A row has engulfed the national organisation of young Labour activists - Young Labour - over its reaction to the news of seven Labour MPs quitting the party today.

The new Labour splitters urged others to join them in creating a new centrist force in British politics.

But only seven MPs have jumped, and it's unclear that others are ready to throw their careers off the side of the ship just yet.

A Labour Party spokesman said: 'We don't comment on individual membership statuses'.

The Labour leader, whose anti-Israel stance is no secret, a year ago denied visiting the graves of the terrorists behind the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Massacre, but photos published by the Daily Mail days later showed him at a 2014 memorial service in Tunisia for members of the Black September terror organization that carried out the murders.

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