Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn says he is disappointed by news of the split

The labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has reacted to the news that seven Labour MPs have decided to leave the party and form a new group in parliament.

The Labour leader made the comments after Luciana Berger, Chris Leslie, Angela Smith, Gavin Shuker, Mike Gapes, Ann Coffey and Chuka Umunna also criticised his handling of allegations of antisemitism.

They announced they would sit in the House of Commons as independents under the banner of “The Independent Group”, in a move representing the most significant split in the party since the breakaway of the Social Democratic Party in the early 1980s.

Here is the full statement:

I am disappointed that these MPs have felt unable to continue to work together for the Labour policies that inspired millions at the last election and saw us increase our vote by the largest share since 1945.

Labour won people over on a programme for the many not the few – redistributing wealth and power, taking vital resources into public ownership, investing in every region and nation, and tackling climate change.

The Conservative Government is bungling Brexit, while Labour has set out a unifying and credible alternative plan. When millions are facing the misery of Universal Credit, rising crime, homelessness and poverty, now more than ever is the time to bring people together to build a better future for us all.

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