Owen Jones pulled no punches in his withering assessment of Frank Field’s Labour credentials

A split screen of Frank Field and Owen Jones

On 30 August, Frank Field resigned the Labour whip, citing ongoing antisemitism allegations against the party as the reason. But Owen Jones delivered a withering assessment of both Field’s Labour credentials and his motivation for resigning:

“Jumped before he was pushed”

Speaking on BBC Radio 5live Jones stated that Field:

jumped before he was pushed. He was going to be deselected by his local party, in fact they almost unanimously have voted for him to be deselected as a Labour member of parliament.

Field defied the Labour whip, voting with the government on a key Brexit bill in which a defeat for the government could have left it on the verge of collapse.

Birkenhead, his constituency, then “passed a vote of no confidence against him”.

A Labour source told the BBC:

Frank has been looking for an excuse to resign for some time.

Maybe his ‘surprise resignation’ isn’t a surprise after all:

Meanwhile, others suggested it was “offensive” for Field to use antisemitism allegations as a smokescreen:

Chequered past

Jones condemned Field’s motivations for resigning as well as his problematic views:

he’s somebody who described Margaret Thatcher as a hero. He’s someone who’s written an article speaking of his admiration for Enoch Powell.

In 2008 a Church of England Bishop suggested Field was pushing the same message as Powell following comments Field made regarding the need to cut immigration.

And during Ed Miliband’s tenure, Field questioned his own place in the party due to his perception that it was weak on immigration:

This is the same Miliband who declared Labour would take a tough stance on immigration, famously even slapping the message on a mug:

In 2011, Field claimed that “migrants take nine out of ten jobs” whilst calling on the government to introduce tougher sanctions on long-term unemployed people. It’s no surprise openDemocracy editor Adam Ramsay feels Labour is “much better off without him”:

And journalist Ash Sarkar saw right through Field’s hypocrisy:

Labour won’t miss him

One Twitter user hit the nail on the head with a cutting assessment of Field’s sincerity:

Field has consistently pushed the myth that migrants are the key cause of society’s problems, deflecting attention away from the powerful. And now he stands accused of disingenuously using antisemitism to cover up the fact that his own actions have left him with no choice but to resign.

The Labour Party is stronger without him.

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Featured image via Sky News/YouTube and Channel 4 News/YouTube

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