WHAT does it say about the current state of the Labour Party if Hilary Armstrong, a former chief whip and a respected MP for more than two decades, is no longer deemed fit to be a member?

Baroness Armstrong, who was the MP for North West Durham until 2010, was the subject of a motion at this weekend’s meeting of the North West Durham Constituency Labour Party that resulted in a vote being carried for her expulsion from the party.

Her crime? Putting her name to a newspaper advert supported by 60 Labour peers that accused Jeremy Corbyn of “failing the test of leadership” over the party’s handling of anti-Semitism allegations.

Baroness Armstrong said she was “very sad” at this weekend’s events, but other Labour MPs went much further in their condemnation of the vote. Anna Turley branded the decision “disgraceful”, while Phil Wilson said, “shame on those who voted for her to be expelled or who let it happen.”

Tellingly, however, North West Durham MP Laura Pidcock, a staunch Corbyn supporter, is understood to have abstained from the vote rather than support Baroness Armstrong.

It is a sorry state of affairs when the Labour Party’s response to serious allegations of anti-Semitism is to go after those who are ashamed of the party’s attitude to the problem rather than attempting to tackle the issue head on.

If there is no place for Baroness Armstrong in Mr Corbyn’s Labour Party, perhaps she is better off out of it.