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Dear Friends,
You may have seen the news this morning that a small group of Labour MPs are planning to break away and form a new party, and I wanted to give you my reaction to that.

Whatever tradition of the Labour Party anyone belongs to, whether we call ourselves socialists or centrists, Bennites or Blairites, there is one thing that has always united our movement, and only one objective that should matter to us all. That is keeping the Tories out of power and stopping their decades-long assault on working people and public services in our country.And that shared unity and objective matters now more than ever, as this current rotten Tory government continues starving our NHS, schools and police of funds, persists with the senselessness of austerity and the cruelty of Universal Credit, and most of all, risks taking us into a hard Brexit or a no-deal Brexit that will destroy jobs and investment in our country.

That is what I believe our entire party should be focused on, and I therefore regret that some of our MPs are instead engaging in the distracting and divisive exercise we are seeing today.
But we should not and will not be distracted or divided, and therefore my message to every friend in the Labour movement today is this: if you criticise or abuse these individuals, if you impugn their motives, and if you encourage any others to join them, you are helping them not hurting them, because you are taking your eyes off the prize and allowing our movement to be distracted and divided, which is exactly what they want.

The only thing that anyone should do in response to the action of these MPs today is to respectfully and politely ask them a simple question: do they intend to put up candidates in Labour-Tory marginals, and split the Labour vote?

Will they stand in Hastings, and keep Amber Rudd – the overseer of the Windrush Scandal – in office? Will they stand in Uxbridge and South Ruislip, and keep Boris Johnson – the arch-proponent of a hard Brexit – in office? And will they stand in Chingford and Woodford Green, and keep Iain Duncan Smith – the architect of Universal Credit – in office?
Because if they do, we all know that the only effect of their actions will be to keep the Tories in power for another generation, and make a Tory Brexit more likely, not less, the one thing that everyone in our movement should be pledged to avoid.

Best wishes,
Emily.