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Labour Draws the Line: Farage Not Welcome Despite Elphicke’s Defection Stirring Controversy



Labour Party Chair Annelise Dodds has firmly stated that Nigel Farage is not welcome in the party. This declaration comes in the wake of some party members' concerns about the acceptance of Natalie Elphicke, a former Conservative MP with right-wing leanings, into Labour.

Political correspondent @fayebrownSky

Wednesday, May 8, 2024, 10:

A shadow frontbencher stated that Nigel Farage's values are entirely at odds with those of the Labour Party, making his acceptance into the party impossible.

Anneliese Dodds responded to inquiries regarding her party's non-negotiable positions after the unexpected switch of former Conservative MP Natalie Elphicke to the Opposition on Wednesday.

Several members of the Labour Party have voiced apprehensions regarding the decision, citing that the Dover MP has consistently criticized Labour's stance on immigration and is considered to align with the conservative faction of her party.

Ms. Dodds informed the Politics Hub with Sophy Ridge that no one had reached out to express opposition to the decision, despite reports of Sir Keir Starmer receiving a negative reaction.

When questioned about whether Mr. Farage would be accepted into Labour should he wish to join, Ms. Dodds responded, "Nigel Farage significantly diverges from the core principles upheld by the Labour Party."

"He has consistently demonstrated this over and over."

She stated that the previous leader of the Brexit movement and Ms. Elphicke cannot be compared, as Mr. Farage's values are entirely antithetical to those of the Labour Party.

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"Blow to the team": Natalie Elphicke's Sudden Departure

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"Ms. Dodds stated that Natalie Elphicke's statements today clearly demonstrate her concern for the issues troubling Labour MPs, members, and many Labour voters alike."

"She's deeply worried about how the failure to provide adequate housing is affecting individuals across the nation."

Ms. Elphicke resigned from the Conservative Party, sharply criticizing Rishi Sunak by stating that his leadership had turned the party into a symbol of ineptitude and disunity, and had moved away from moderate positions.

The switch follows the move by MP Dan Poulter who shifted from the Conservative Party to Labour in April, coupled with the Conservatives' poor performance in the recent local elections.

As enthusiasm grows among some in the Labour Party regarding the expansion of its supporter base, there are those who harbor reservations about Ms. Elphicke's previous remarks and her suitability as a new member.

The act of defection tested the magnanimity of John the Baptist.

Former Labour shadow chancellor John McDonnell expressed his astonishment and dismay, stating: "I always have faith in the ability to change, but I believe even this situation would have tested the magnanimity of John the Baptist."

In a conversation with LBC, the experienced leftist commented that it "definitely seems like a ploy that harms the Tories", while noting that Ms. Elphicke has previously shared opinions that "I believe the party should distance itself from".

He referenced her criticism of immigrants and her reproach of English football player Marcus Rashford for his penalty miss during the Euros, implying that his involvement in the free school meals initiative was a distraction.

Mr. McDonnell urged the Labour Party leaders to reinstate Diane Abbott and Jeremy Corbyn, who are currently suspended due to remarks linked to antisemitism. He expressed concern that it seemed as though there was "no one Labour wouldn't accept."

Further Reading: A recent defection alongside an intervention highlights fractures within the Conservative Party. Who is the Conservative MP that switched to Labour during Prime Minister's Questions?

"We're not here to engage in debates"

Former Labour leader Neil Kinnock also voiced concerns, emphasizing that the party needs to be selective regarding its admissions.

"He mentioned that while it encompasses a wide range, there are boundaries, as even churches have walls," he said on BBC Radio 4.

He stated that the new Member of Parliament must determine her dedication to the Labour Party's agenda and values.

"He emphasized that they are a political party, not just a forum for discussion."

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Ms. Elphicke has announced she will not seek re-election in the upcoming general election

In 2019, she won the election to become the Conservative MP for Dover, succeeding her former husband Charlie. He had previously occupied the seat but was imprisoned for two years in 2020 following his conviction for the sexual assault of two women.

She supported him throughout his legal ordeal, but she declared that their marriage concluded upon his guilty verdict.

'Completely illogical'

The reaction to her switch of allegiance sparked confusion and shock among Conservative members, as a minister expressed to Sky News that it was "ridiculous and shameful… an embarrassment and a joke."

Science Secretary Michelle Donelan described her defection as "completely and utterly nonsensical," stating: "I was astonished… it simply makes no sense."

Rail Minister Huw Merriman stated, "It clearly demonstrates her opportunistic shift in career, while also suggesting that the Labour Party lacks a firm set of principles."

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