Dame Louise Ellman has confirmed she won’t stand for re-election after 22 years in Parliament.
The 73-year-old quit the Labour Party two weeks ago, saying Jeremy Corbyn is not “fit” to be prime minister and couldn’t bring herself to advocate for him to enter Downing Street. She left open the possibility of fighting the next election as an independent.
However, she told the Jewish News ahead of an expected vote for a snap poll that she had decided against such a move without a party machine behind her, ending more than two decades in the Commons which included a stint as chair of the Transport Select Committee. She is also a former chair of the Jewish Labour Movement and consistently one of the most reliable supporters of Israel in the chamber.
In a wide-ranging interview to be published in the Jewish News’ Life magazine next month, she also revealed that Corbyn had a few months ago invited her to speak to him about antisemitism in the party. She said he “listened” but didn’t provide any answers when pressed on what further action he would take to crack down on the scourge.
Ellman said resigning her membership after 55 years had been “agonising”. She hoped to return to the party under a different leadership.