Labour now has six MPs who have quit or been suspended since the 2017 general election
John Woodcock – quit
Jared O'Mara – quit
Frank Field – quit
Fiona Onasanya – sacked
Ivan Lewis – quit
Kelvin Hopkins – suspended
— Jessica Elgot (@jessicaelgot) December 20, 2018
This could impact on upcoming key votes
The past 24 hours have been bad for LAB’s seat numbers in the House of Commons. First of all there was the conviction of the Peterborough MP for conspiring to pervert the course of justice and today we have the resignation from the Party of Ivan Lewis.
In his resignation letter Lewis cited some of the anti-semitism rhetoric that has been coming from the leadership.
Given the crucial Brexit votes that we are likely to see in the next month or so then a LAB party that is smaller by even half a dozen MPs could actually influence those outcomes. The parliamentary arithmetic is very tight.
It not just LAB that’s suffered from parliamentary shrinkage. Last week the Eastbourne LD MP quit the party over it’s Brexit stance and the Tories have been down two for a few months.
There’s nothing to stop MPs voting with their former parties in spite of not currently having the whip but it does mean that they are more difficult to organise and could impact on the numbers. This makes the whole whipping operation that much more challenging.
We don’t know yet whether the Peterborough MP is going to remain in The Commons. She seems determined to hang on even though she is now been booted out of the party. Everything depends now on her sentence and provided she is not given a jail term, suspended or not, of a year or more than she should be able to stay.