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‘Call off the dogs,’ Umunna tells Corbyn
September 09, 2018
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LONDON: Chuka Umunna has implored Jeremy Corbyn to “call off the dogs” trying to drive centre-left MPs out of Labour.

The Streatham MP made the comments after a leading pro-Israel MP claimed so-called moderates faced a “clear and present danger” of being run out of the party by hard-left factions.

Umunna’s comments came after leading Joan Ryan, who chairs Labour Friends of Israel, and Luton South MP Gavin Shuker lost no-confidence votes among local party members.

Ryan blamed the result on “Trots, Stalinists, Communists and assorted hard-left,” while Shuker, who was elected in 2010, said: “I’ve not changed, but the Labour Party has.”

In a speech to the centre-left group Progress, Umunna, a former shadow business secretary, said MPs are being targeted for standing up for zero tolerance of racism.

“More motions such as this are expected by colleagues,” he said.

“My message to our leadership: it is within your power to stop this so call off the dogs and get on with what my constituency, one of the most diverse communities in the nation, demands we do — without equivocation, fight this Tory Brexit. That is where all our efforts should be.”

Umunna said the Brexit debate has normalised hatred and black and minority ethnic voters had “paid the price.”

He warned the Labour leadership it would be a “complete betrayal” of the party’s values to “act as a bystander and wave through this disastrous Brexit” and call for it to back a referendum on the final deal.

Umunna has backed The Independent’s Final Say campaign, which features a petition to Theresa May that has been signed by more than 700,000 people.

The Independent

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