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  1. ITV Report

Does Angela Smith have most to lose from Labour split?

  • Video report by ITV News correspondent Ben Chapman

The town of Stocksbridge is built on the steel industry and at its heart are Labour values.

On Monday their local MP, Angela Smith, was one of seven to split from the Labour Party to form The Independent Group, resulting in mixed feelings in the town.

The reaction in the constituency she represents was a broad spectrum, meaning she has plenty to lose, including her seat.

One local told ITV News: "I think it's a good move, I think Jeremy Corbyn - they hit the nail on the head - he's more interested in promoting his party than doing what is best for Britain."

"I've think they've done the right thing because someone's got to stand up to them and if it's their own MPs who are quitting, what does it say about the rest of us?"

Ms Smith was elected to Parliament in 2010 but her local party have recently turned against her, passing a vote of no confidence against her last November.

Those within the local party say they feel hurt and relief at her departure from Labour and they could be the ones with the most telling influence, as some call for a by-election to oust the MP.

Angela Smith is under pressure in her own constituency. Credit: PA

"The official line is that we're all sad, but I am quite ecstatic about it because I'm glad she's gone because she's not a Labour person," Labour activist John Leary told ITV News.

They fear she will split the Labour vote ion the constituency but the party members still want a by-election to be called.

Phil Newing said: "Angela Smith was always thought as a Labour MP and therefore the only honorable thing that she can do is stand down."

Some younger members of the Labour Party think the new centrist group will be a positive move for the future of politics in the country.

"Another major party is always good for democracy and I think that a new centrist party might wake up Labour and the Conservatives to unify and a bit more of a progressive centrist agenda," Jay Sansom said.

Whatever the long-term result is of the split nationally, the short-term future of politics could be reflected in Stocksbridge.