WHAT a carve-up! Labour, at the time of writing, has already suffered no fewer than nine defections from its ranks, while the equivalent tally in the Conservative Party is three. And there are expectations that more defectors will follow over the coming days and weeks.

The three Tories are all exasperated over the Brexit negotiations, while in Labour, the quitters have acted either over Brexit, antisemitism, or general dissatisfaction with the party leadership.

But whatever the reasons for their defections, the old virtue of loyalty to the party seems now to be, sadly, a thing of the past. The Brexit complainants say that loyalty to the country is more important than party loyalty. That may be so, but let it not be forgotten that some of them have broken a solemn pledge given at the time of the referendum that they would honour the result whatever the outcome. That is, quite frankly, a disgrace.

Why can’t they take a leaf out of the Prime Minister’s book? She voted Remain in the referendum, but has honourably and conscientiously stuck to that original pledge.

And the idea of a second referendum, or People’s Vote as they pompously describe it, is simply an insult. It is what the EU has been guilty of over the years: Holding elections in various member states, and if they get the “wrong” result they hold another until they get the “right” one. Shameful.

And I stick to my point that all the party deserters should resign from Parliament and trigger by-elections. One of their number offered the excuse that this is not the time for by-elections. How feeble. It is always time for by-elections if MPs decide to change their party status midway through a Parliament.

What was worse is that some members of the new Independent Group took their seats in the Chamber as if it was some kind of fiesta. Words fail me.

DO not be surprised if Dame Louise Ellman, MP for Liverpool Riverside, becomes the next Labour member to defect from the party. She would do so over Labour’s alleged antisemitism stance.

Jeremy Corbyn, who presumably wants to keep his party together, did himself no good for allegedly and sarcastically describing Dame Louise as “the MP for Tel Aviv”.

The Northern Echo:

She once spent a highly productive period as chair of the powerful Commons Transport Committee, which regularly reached highly critical findings when probing controversial issues.

She was never afraid to publicly criticise her own party leaders if she thought they were at fault.

But recently, her main concern has been her detestation at the apparent antisemitism rampant in the party. It now appears that one of Corbyn’s closest political aides is a strongly pro-Palestine individual.

It is therefore no surprise that Tom Watson, Labour’s deputy leader, has warned Corbyn that he has virtually no chance of reaching Number Ten unless he totally eradicates antisemitism from the party. How Corbyn can expect decent Jewish people like Louise Ellman to remain in the party when it is in such a sorry state is beyond me.