Ilford South MP Mike Gapes ‘agonising daily’ over future as a Labour MP
- Credit: Archant
Ilford South MP Mike Gapes has insisted he has not resigned from the Labour Party, but refused to comment on allegations that he was ready to do so over “the stain of anti-semitism”.
Over the weekend a number of national newspapers ran stories alleging that it was a matter of time before Mr Gapes, who has represented Ilford South in Parliament for 26 years, resigned his membership.
Speaking to the Recorder on Tuesday, Mr Gapes refused to comment on the accuracy of the story but reiterated that he is “agonising daily” over his Labour future.
He added: “Frankly, the thought that my party, which has had such a strong connection with the Jewish community throughout its history, has been infected and tainted with the stain of anti-semitism appalls and sickens me.
“This isn’t minor, this is at senior levels of the party.”
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The backbench MP – who was first elected with a majority of 402 in 1992 and returned a 31,647-strong majority in last year’s general election – was adamant he has not yet made a decision.
He said:“I have not resigned. There were some reports over the weekend in The Mail and The Sun that I had, and they’d clearly seen The Times’ article and somehow put two and two together and got seven.”
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“I have held office at all levels of the Labour Party since I joined in 1968.
“I have been the MP for Ilford South for 26 years – if you cut me open I’m Labour through and through, it is there stamped through my core like rock.”
The Labour Party did not respond to the Recorder’s request for comment.