David Lammy Responds To Labour Split As He Hosts LBC Show
18 February 2019, 10:53 | Updated: 18 February 2019, 11:03
David Lammy labelled today "a very sad moment as a Labour Party MP" as he responded to the resignations of seven MPs.
Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger and Mike Gapes were among the group who have left the party and will sit in Parliament under the banner The Independent Group.
The MPs each gave their own reasons for leaving the party, which included Labour's position on Brexit and its inaction over allegations of anti-Semitism.
Mr Lammy was standing in for James O'Brien on LBC as the announcement was made and responded: "This is a very sad moment for me as a Labour Party MP.
"All of these colleagues, I've known over my 20 years in politics. All of them, I've worked with.
"There will be many in the Labour family that are furious and are angry and think this is a mistake and a very divisive thing to do. But I recognise these colleagues as good people who have tried their best for their constituents.
"My own view is that this is a time to reflect hard on how we have arrived at this moment.
"A range of things have been said by them this morning. In some ways, I was most touched by what Angela Smith said. She talked about growing up in a council house.
"By Mike Gapes, reflecting on his father as a postman, being in the Labour Party for 50 years.
"And Ann Coffey talking about social work and why she got into politics in the first place.
"My own view is that any political party who is serious about office has to be a broad church. The Labour Party is a party which has accommodated Dennis Skinner on the one hand and Tony Blair on the other hand. It's always been that.
"How could it come to pass that these seven MPs feel so out of step and so out of kilter that they have left the British Labour Party?"