Two North West MPs amongst group who quit Labour in biggest split since SDP in 1980s

Liverpool Wavertree MP Luciana Berger leads a group of seven MPs in a 'Labour split' Credit: PA

Two North West MPs have lead the group of seven Labour MPs who have resigned from the party to sit in the House of Commons as independents.

It's the most significant split to hit the party since the breakaway of the Social Democratic Party in the early 1980s.

Luciana Berger, Liverpool Wavertree MP, and Ann Coffey, the MP for Stockport, joined Chris Leslie, Angela Smith, Gavin Shuker, Mike Gapes, and Chuka Umunna. They're amongst the MPs from the party's centrist wing who have been the loudest critics of Jeremy Corbyn's leadership, his stance on Brexit and his handling of allegations of anti-Semitism.

At a press conference at London's County Hall to announce their move, Mr Leslie - a former shadow chancellor - said that Labour had been "hijacked by the machine politics of the hard left", while Ms Berger said she had come to the "sickening" conclusion that the party is now "institutionally anti-Semitic".

Mr Corbyn said he was "disappointed" at their decision.

Ms Berger accidentally introduced herself as "the Labour Party MP", before correcting herself and saying: "I am the Member of Parliament for Liverpool Wavertree".

She said:

Wigan MP Lisa Nandy tweeted "This is an awful day for the Labour Party and everyone who needs us".

The newly-formed Independent Group posted in its first message on Twitter: "Politics is broken. Let's change it. #ChangePolitics"