Suspended, expelled, quit: Who are the MPs sitting without the Labour whip?

Ten MPs elected to represent the Labour Party in 2019 are currently sitting as independents, with Labour MP for Edmonton Kate Osamor becoming the latest in January 2024 after she was suspended for comments about Gaza.

This rolling list will be updated with the latest developments as we hear them about the MPs’ futures. Let us know if you hear any important information not included below at [email protected], on record or off.

All MPs featured and the party were contacted for comment.

Diane Abbott

Diane Abbott has been the Labour MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington since 1987, when she became the first Black woman elected to parliament. A long serving member of the Socialist Campaign Group, she served as Shadow Home Secretary under Jeremy Corbyn.

Abbott was suspended from the Labour whip in April 2023 after suggesting, in a letter to the Observer newspaper, that Irish people, Jews and Travellers do not experience racism. Abbott apologised for the widely condemned comments shortly after their publication, saying she wished to “wholly and unreservedly withdraw” her remarks and “disassociate” herself from them.

She said that “the errors arose in an initial draft being sent”, but that this was “no excuse”. An investigation is ongoing; the Guardian has reported that inquiry into her comments is likely to drag on for some months, thus potentially precluding Abbott from standing for re-selection in her north London seat.

Contacted for comment, Abbott’s office told LabourList: “She herself has described the investigation process as fraudulent, as Keir Starmer has already pronounced her guilt.”

Nick Brown 

One of Labour’s longest serving MPs, Brown was first elected to represent Newcastle-upon-Tyne East in 1983 and has held the seat ever since. Brown served as Labour’s chief whip Tony Blair and every successive party leader, leaving the role in 2021 to be replaced by fellow north east MP Alan Campbell.

In September 2022, it was reported that Brown had been suspended from the Labour party following a complaint to the party’s independent complaints system. The nature of the complaint has not been made public and Brown remains suspended while the investigation is ongoing.

He said in September he was “forbidden” by party rules from publicly discussing the complaint, but said he was cooperating “fully” with the internal investigation and and continuing his constituency work and maintaining a “good division record” in parliament.

But in early December he confirmed he would stand down at the next election, and said he was quitting Labour “with a heavy heart”, alleging the complaints system was “fundamentally and inexcusably flawed”.

A party spokesperson said it treated complaints with the “utmost seriousness”, and had an independent complaints process that ensured they were handled “impartially and fairly”.

Bambos Charalambous

Charalambous took Enfield Southgate from the Conservatives in 2017, having previously fought the seat in 2015. He had served on the front bench in a number of roles and was serving as shadow minister for the Middle East and North Africa when he was suspended from the Labour whip in June 2023 following an allegation of misconduct.

Commenting on this suspension, Charalambous said: “It is right and proper that process is allowed to take place. I will cooperate fully and play my full part. It is not appropriate to say anything further at this time.”

It is understood that a formal complaint was made to Labour’s independent complaints process, resulting in Charalambous being administratively suspended from the party – automatically suspending the whip in parliament.

Jeremy Corbyn

Keir Starmer has repeatedly made it clear that former leader Jeremy Corbyn will not stand as a Labour candidate again.

Representing Islington North since 1983, a Labour National Executive Committee motion barring him from candidacy at the next election passed in March 2023.

The motion claimed that the “Labour Party’s interests, and its political interests at the next general election, are not well served by Mr Corbyn running as a Labour Party candidate”.

But the former leader said in a statement at the time: “The NEC’s decision to block my candidacy for Islington North is a shameful attack on party democracy, party members and natural justice.”

Geraint Davies

Geraint Davies served as Labour MP for Croydon Central between 1997 and 2005, before being elected as the Labour and Co-operative member for Swansea West in 2010. He had the Labour whip suspended in June 2023, following a report in Politico that documented a series of allegations of sexual harassment against the MP.

Davies said he did not “recognise” the allegations, which a Labour spokesperson described as “incredibly serious allegations of completely unacceptable behaviour”, commenting: “If I have inadvertently caused offence to anyone, then I am naturally sorry.” An inquiry is ongoing.

Reached for comment by LabourList, Davies said he denied all allegations and is keen that the inquiry into the claims against him concludes as soon as possible.

Conor McGinn

McGinn has represented St Helen’s North since 2015, and between June 2021 and September 2022 served under Shabana Mahmood as deputy national campaign coordinator. Prior to his election, the Northern Ireland-born McGinn sat on Labour’s NEC.

In December 2022, it was reported that McGinn had been suspended from the party whip following a complaint to the party’s independent complaints system. McGinn has said that the complaint, the details of which have not been made public, was “entirely unfounded”.

He announced in May 2023 that he would not seek re-election and in October 2023 that he had left the Labour Party. David Baines has been selected to fight his seat.

Andy McDonald

Andy McDonald was elected as the Labour MP for Middlesbrough in 2012, having practiced as a solicitor for many years. He served in the Shadow Cabinet under Jeremy Corbyn and Keir Starmer, resigning in September 2021.

McDonald was suspended in October 2023 after speaking at a pro-Palestine rally, having told the event: “Until all people, Israelis and Palestinians, between the river and the sea can live in peaceful liberty.”

A Labour spokesperson commenting at the time said: “The comments made by Andy McDonald at the weekend were deeply offensive, particularly at a time of rising antisemitism which has left Jewish people fearful for their safety.”

McDonald said his comments should be understood as “a heartfelt plea for an end to the killings in Israel, Gaza, and the occupied West Bank, and for all peoples in the region to live in freedom without the threat of violence”, continuing: “I will be happy to explain these views to the investigation when it convenes, and trust that the whip will be restored.”

Kate Osamor

Kate Osamor was elected Labour and Co-operative MP for Edmonton in north London since 2015. She was suspended from the Parliamentary Labour Party on January 29th in 2024 over comments about Israel.

The BBC reports the MP for Edmonton in London had written: “Tomorrow is Holocaust Memorial Day, an international day to remember the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, the millions of other people murdered under Nazi persecution of other groups and more recent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and now Gaza.”

Osamor later apologised for “any offence caused by my reference to the ongoing humanitarian disaster in Gaza as part of that period of remembrance”.

A party source confirmed Labour’s chief whip had issused a precautionary suspension of the whip, pending an investigation, leaving Osamor outside the Parliamentary Labour Party and sitting as an independent MP.

Christina Rees

Rees has been the Labour and Co-operative MP for Neath since 2015 and served as Shadow Secretary of State for Wales under Jeremy Corbyn.

She had the Labour whip suspended in October 2022, following reports that she had bullied members of her constituency staff. The Guardian reported claims that several of her staff had made statements detailing bullying by Rees to Labour headquarters, with one constituency source alleging that the behaviour had gone on for some years.

At the time, Rees said she was not aware of the details of the complaint but “fully cooperating with the investigation”.

Claudia Webbe

Webbe was elected as the Labour MP for Leicester East at the 2019 general election. She had previously served as a councillor in Islington and as a member of the NEC, where in 2018 she was elected chair of the disputes panel.

Claudia Webbe was convicted of harassment in November 2021 and lost her appeal for this conviction in May 2022, and Labour called on her to resign as an MP. She had the Labour whip suspended in September 2020 over the harassment charges and has not regained it.

Rajesh Agrawal has been selected to fight Leicester East at the next election.

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