Brex-split: 7 UK lawmakers quit Labour over EU, anti-Semitism
Luciana Berger speaks during a press conference to announce the new political party, The Independent Group, in London, Monday, Feb. 18, 2019. Seven British Members of Parliament say they are quitting the main opposition Labour Party over its approach to issues including Brexit and anti-Semitism. Many Labour MPs are unhappy with the party's direction under leader Jeremy Corbyn, a veteran socialist who took charge in 2015 with strong grass-roots backing. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
LONDON (AP) -- Seven British lawmakers quit the main opposition Labour Party on Monday over its approach to Brexit and anti-Semitism — the biggest shake-up in years for one of Britain's major political parties.
The announcement ripped open a long-simmering rift between socialists and centrists in the party, which sees itself as the representative of Britain's working class. It's also the latest fallout from Britain's decision to leave the European Union, which has split both of the country's two main parties — Conservatives and Labour — into pro-Brexit and pro-EU camps.
Many Labour lawmakers have been unhappy with the party's direction under leader Jeremy Corbyn, a veteran socialist who took charge in 2015 with strong grass-roots backing. They accuse Corbyn of mounting a weak opposition to Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May's plans for leaving the EU, and of failing to stamp out a vein of anti-Semitism in the party.