Frank Field resigns the Labour whip

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In a letter, Mr Field said: 'I am resigning the whip for two principal reasons.

The Labour veteran Frank Field has resigned the party whip and warned that Jeremy Corbyn's leadership has become a "force for anti-Semitism".

He repeated that he would remain a member of Labour but added: "I can not, through continuing to take the Labour whip, lend any legitimacy to the most appalling culture which is now dominating national and local Labour Party institutions".

Field, who has represented Birkenhead since 1979, has spent virtually all his career as an MP on the backbenches, where he has built up a reputation as an expert on social security and combating poverty.

Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks called Jeremy Corbyn an out-and-out anti-Semite in his first comments on the Labour party leader's recently revealed remarks on the State of Israel and the UK's Jewish community, reported the New Statesman paper on Tuesday.

He said the leadership needed to "recognise the culture of nastiness, bullying, and intimidation that it has allowed to grow unchecked and expel local members whose public conduct is simply disgraceful". Mr Field - a Eurosceptic who has backed the Government in several Brexit votes - lost a confidence motion in his constituency party a month ago.

Field, who has represented Birkenhead for nearly 40 years, said in a letter to party chief whip Nick Brown that he could no longer serve the party as Jeremy Corbyn was overseeing an "erosion of our core values".

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Jeremy Corbyn has apologised for hurt caused by anti-Semitism in the party and pledged to stamp it out.

Deputy Leader Tom Watson said Field's resignation must be a "major wake-up call" for the party.

Field said that he meant to continue representing Birkenhead at Westminster as an independent Labour MP, and would remain a member of the Labour Party despite giving up the whip.

Cllr Kelly, who was Mr Field's Liberal Democrat opponent in the General elections of 2005 and 2010, continued: "Mr Field has never been what could be described as left wing and the current Labour party must feel like an very alien place even worse perhaps than the militant takeover of the 1980s".

He was also applauded by some Conservative MPs, with Home Secretary Sajid Javid tweeting that he was "a man of integrity and principle". "I am now more careful with how I might use the term 'Zionist, ' because a once self-identifying political term has been increasingly hijacked by antisemites as code for Jews".

"I'm hoping that this action will lead to the Labour Party again becoming the most prominent party against racism".

Corbyn has conceded that his party has a "real problem" with anti-Semitism in a recent newspaper article.