Sheffield MP accuses former colleague of ‘letting down voters’ by quitting Labour

A Sheffield MP who quit the Labour Party has been accused by a former colleague of ‘letting down’ the voters who elected her.

Monday, 18th February 2019, 3:32 pm
Updated Monday, 18th February 2019, 3:37 pm
Sheffield MPs Clive Betts and Angela Smith

Sheffield South East MP Clive Betts said he was ‘extremely disappointed’ Stocksbridge & Penistone MP Angela Smith had resigned from the party to join a seven-strong breakaway group sitting as independents.

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Sheffield MPs Clive Betts and Angela Smith

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“I’ve spoken to Angela today and told her very simply that I’m extremely disappointed,” he said.

“I’m sorry she’s taken that decision. I will be staying in the Labour Party because that’s the place I believe we can fight best to get proper justice and fairness for people.

“I think she has let down the people who voted for her as the Labour candidate in 2017. Many of us went and worked in that constituency for her as a Labour candidate.”

Asked whether he believes there should be a by-election, he said this was up to the individual MPs who had chosen to leave Labour.

But he added: “When people are elected for a political party I believe they ought to stay in that party.”

Ms Smith said she had chosen to become an independent MP in protest at the direction the Labour Party had taken under Jeremy Corbyn, including its stance on Britain leaving the EU, its response to anti-Semitism allegations and its economic policies.