Joan Ryan's Reason For Quitting Labour Is Brutal For Jeremy Corbyn
20 February 2019, 08:16 | Updated: 20 February 2019, 08:25
The MP, who became the latest to resign from the Labour Party, told Nick Ferrari why she made the decision - and it will make painful reading for Jeremy Corbyn.
Joan Ryan said Mr Corbyn is not fit to be the leader of the Labour Party and she is pleased she can now get on with carrying out her values without being bullied.
She joined the seven other MPs who resigned on Monday, including Chuka Umunna and Luciana Berger in The Independent Group.
Speaking to Nick Ferrari, she said: "I just finally, after much heart-searching and reflection, reached the point yesterday following what happened on Monday and what Luciana Berger said, that I do not believe that Jeremy Corbyn is fit to lead the Labour Party.
"And therefore I don't believe he's fit to be Prime Minister.
"I can no longer in good faith and conscience tell people that they should be fighting for a Labour government under Jeremy Corbyn."
Nick asked if she thought Mr Corbyn was an anti-Semite. Ms Ryan's response was: "I don't know what's in his heart, but I don't think he can be at all surprised that people think he is.
"We've said endlessly to him 'Actions speak louder than words. You are allowing this scourge of anti-Semitism, of anti-Jewish hatred to infect the Labour Party'.
"He's had so many opportunities to deal with it and has not done so. And is not doing so now. I have no confidence that he will.
"That kind of hatred of Israel that leads him to his hatred - it seems - towards Jews is part and parcel of hard-left politics which he represents."
Nick asked how difficult a decision this had been and Ms Ryan, with emotion in her voice, said: "I have been almost four decades in the Labour Party. This is the first day since being a young woman that I've been out of it.
"It was a very hard decision, it was a very personal decision. It's the hardest decision I've ever had to make.
"But I feel a sense of relief now that I can do what I'm supposed to do as an MP, I can speak up, I can speak out, I can stand in solidarity with minorities who are being subjected to racism, I can express my values and I can do that without being put in the position of being abused and bullied because anything you say is seem as undermining the leader, like we're in some kind of cult."