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  1. ITV Report

Gavin Shuker: Luton South MP quits the Labour party

Luton South MP Gavin Shuker has announced his resignation from the Labour party.

Mr Shuker is one of seven backbench MPs who have left the party to form a new independent group.

The seven, who are made up of Mr Shuker and fellow MPS Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger, Chris Leslie, Angela Smith, Mike Gapes and Ann Coffey, will call themselves 'The Independent Group.'

Explaining his decision at a press conference at London's County Hall on Monday, Mr Shuker said the MPs had decided to split because their values "no longer find expression in today's broken politics."

  • Watch Gavin Shuker's full speech

Each of the seven MPs were given a chance to speak at the press conference, with Liverpool Wavertree MP Luciana Berger going first.

She said that she was "embarrassed and ashamed to remain in the Labour Party", and there were equally strong words from Chuka Umunna who claimed: "Politics is broken, it doesn't have to be this way. Let's change it."

The MPs have been strong critics of Jeremy Corbyn's leadership of the Labour party, and particularly his stance on Brexit and his handling of allegations of anti-Semitism.

In response to the breakaway, Mr Corbyn said that he was "disappointed" by the actions of the group.

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"I am disappointed that these MPs have felt unable to continue to work together for the Labour policies that inspired millions at the last election and saw us increase our vote by the largest share since 1945," he said.

"Labour won people over on a programme for the many not the few – redistributing wealth and power, taking vital resources into public ownership, investing in every region and nation, and tackling climate change.

"The Conservative Government is bungling Brexit, while Labour has set out a unifying and credible alternative plan. When millions are facing the misery of Universal Credit, rising crime, homelessness and poverty, now more than ever is the time to bring people together to build a better future for us all."

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The move is the the most significant split to hit the Labour party since the breakaway of the Social Democratic Party in the early 1980s.