Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Former Labour MP Joan Ryan urges people not to vote for Jeremy Corbyn

Former Labour MP Joan Ryan has become the latest former party member to urge people not to vote for Jeremy Corbyn in next week's General Election. Ms Ryan quit the Labour party in February and blamed the "entryism" from the far left for changes that she felt meant she could no longer vote for the party she joined 40 years ago

The former MP accused Mr Corbyn of not being a "legitimate member" of the Labour Party and said voting him into Number 10 posed a "huge risk".

"I'm not here to tell people how they should vote, I'm simply here to say, 'I'm not voting for Jeremy Corbyn'," she told ITV News Political Correspondent Libby Wiener.

Ms Ryan did not say who she would be voting for in the election on December 12 but said putting her mark against another candidate would be "a very conflicting thing to do when you have always voted Labour."

She continued: "But I have come to the conclusion I definitely do that [not vote Labour], because I think you have to stand by your values, stand by your principle and stand by your country."

Former Labour MP Ian Austin launches Mainstream, the new campaign against extremism. Credit: PA

Despite saying she was not trying to tell people which party they should mark their cross next to in a week's time, Ms Ryan said: "I would urge people, I'm not going to tell you what to do, but I think people know that there is a huge risk if we vote for Jeremy Corbyn."

She called for Labour MPs to ditch Mr Corbyn after the election saying "you have the chance to take action then, how long will you wait?"

Former Dudley North MP Ian Austin echoed Ms Ryan's remarks, describing Mr Corbyn as "completely unfit to lead our country" even calling on people to vote for Boris Johnson.

"We're appalled that a political party that we both joined that we joined to fight racism which has a long history and proud record of fighting for equality and standing against racism has been poisoned by racism against Jewish people under Jeremy Corbyn's leadership," Mr Austin said.

Mr Austin also left the Labour Party in February and is now Chairperson of Mainstream, the campaign against extremism.

During an interview with ITV's This Morning on Tuesday, the Labour leader said he was "very sorry" for "everything that has happened" in his party regarding anti-Semitism.

But his apology has done little to dampen the controversy.

On a visit to a school on Thursday Mr Corbyn was forced to defend his stance on anti-Semitism once again after the Jewish Labour Movement to the Equality and Human Rights Commission accused the party of becoming a refuge for anti-Semites under his leadership.

Jeremy Corbyn during a visit to Fulbridge Academy in Peterborough on Thursday. Credit: PA

During a visit to the Fulbridge Academy in Peterborough, Mr Corbyn told reporters: "I completely reject that.

"When I became leader of the party there were no processes in place to deal with anti-Semitism."

He added that after a report compiled by Baroness Chakrabarti he "introduced rules to deal with it".

"We introduced an appeals procedure to deal with it and we introduced an education process so that party members understood the hurt that can be caused by anti-Semitic remarks or anti-Semitic behaviour."

And he said that in July he introduced a process so "egregious" cases could be fast tracked to a committee independent of him.