After a few days of speculation, seven MPs announced they had resigned from the Labour party yesterday morning. All have said they could no longer support the party’s Brexit stance and accused the party of being ‘institutionally racist’. Rather than resign their seats, all have decided to hold onto their seats in Parliament, despite having not mandate to do so. Let us remember that all were voted in as Labour MPs, but there has been no mention of them putting their seats up in a by-election.
Corbyn said that he is “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”. Many other Labour MPs have expressed dismay at the decision, with some calling for them to stand down and call by-elections.
Today we have a hectic schedule of economic data, beginning with average earnings for December. The figures – including and excluding bonuses – are expected to nudge up by 0.1%. We will also see the unemployment rate for December and the labour productivity figures for the fourth quarter of 2018.