LONDON - Ian Austin, a member of the UK parliament from the Labour party , announced on 22 February that he resigns from the party due to its purported anti-Semitic culture.

“The Labour Party has been my life, so this has been the hardest decision I have ever had to take, but I have to be honest and the truth is that I have become ashamed of the Labour Party under [party’s leader] Jeremy Corbyn”, Austin told the Express & Star daily newspaper, pointing at anti-semitism within the party as the main reason for resignation.

At the same time, Austin decided not to join a new centrist block in the UK parliament, an independent group established by eight lawmakers who recently left the Labour party , and three others who resigned from the Conservative party.

On 18 February, seven Labour lawmakers resigned from the party over values disagreement but remained in the parliament forming the new independent group of lawmakers. Two days later, the eighth lawmaker left Labour over anti-Semitism within the party.

Over the past years, Labour has been facing allegations of anti-Semitism. Several party members were suspended after it was revealed they had been involved in anti-Semitic actions. Corbyn has consistently rejected the accusations, pledging to redouble efforts to fight anti-Semitism surfacing in the party.

These resignations come several weeks before the United Kingdom has to leave the European Union. However, the withdrawal deal agreed by the UK government and Brussels was voted down in January by Labour, other opposition parties and some of the ruling Conservative Party lawmakers as well.