Why I am leaving the Labour Party
I was born to a Labour family in 1961. My father was a printer by trade and my mother started work when I was a teenager, eventually moving on to a job as a receptionist in the NHS.
For my parents, working-class pride was not about enjoying poverty and wearing it as a badge of honour. It was about self-respect and believing that we could do better, that there was nothing wrong in getting on in life.
This is one of the values that has underpinned my political affiliation all my life. I believe in aspiration and know that people do not want to be patronised by left-wing intellectuals who think that being poor and working class constitutes a state of grace.
I also believe that everyone in our country bears a responsibility to make a contribution towards keeping our society safe and prosperous.
In return, the state has a role to play in enabling individuals to make the best of themselves and the opportunities available to them. It has a responsibility to maintain national security and to keep people safe at home. And it has a responsibility to foster economic growth, in the context of a mixed economy.
Unfortunately, the Labour Party no longer reflects these values. It has undergone major change since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader in 2015, changes which have destroyed the proud political movement built by our predecessors. Labour is a party now characterised by intolerance and fuelled by hatred for anything other than a hard left political agenda; it fosters division rather than unity and despises all those who dare to disagree with its fundamentalist approach to political debate.
I cannot, in all conscience, continue to affiliate with a Labour Party that I consider unfit for government. It is not alone in this; our politics is broken and all the main parties are incapable of inspiring confidence in the future. The level of alienation from the political process on the part of the people is at a record high, with the chaos and conflict characterising Brexit encapsulating perfectly the sense of deadlock and hopelessness which pervades our political culture.
That is why I have decided to join with my colleagues in forming a new group of Independent MPs. It is time for change, time for a politics no longer prejudiced by the domination of political parties which exist as an end in themselves, rather than as a means to an end.
It is time to put the country first.
Sign up now to register your support.
In the coming months, we would like a new kind of politics to emerge.
We would like to invite to be part of this exciting new future. If you would like to know more or register your support please follow the links below.
Angela and others may contact you using the details you provide. If you do not wish to be contacted please write to Angela Smith MP at;The MPs Office 2 aria House 3 Fox Valley Way Stocksbridge Sheffield S36 2AA
For full information on the new Independent group of MPs visit www.theindependent.group
To donate money to the new group of Independent group of MPs visit www.theindependent.group
Latest from Angela
We meet this evening, in this lovely room, to talk about the water sector in the context of a colossal and very damaging debate, characterised by polarised views of what the future should look like. In many ways, this discussion is painful to watch and even more difficult to participate in because of the various profiles of what that future could look like do nothing to deliver anything as good as we have now.
And that’s enough about Brexit.
But the truth is that although Brexit is indeed a vitally important issue, there are nevertheless other arguments raging which could have an enormous impact on our country and its citizens.
Just when you thought it was safe to come out from behind the sofa, Brexit has turned into the mid-winter nightmare many of us feared.
As a famous football manager once said, we are now at the business end of the season with time running out to get out of trouble.
The problem is the managers of both teams involved in this soap opera seem determined to get the same result, all be it for different reasons.
With just a few weeks to go before we are supposed to leave the EU and after Theresa May’s deal was massively defeated in the Commons, we are in a surreal world of deals and proposals that don’t add up, don’t have support and that the EU has said it won’t accept. A world where the Leader of the Opposition loses a vote of no confidence in a government which enjoys... Read More...
My Parliamentary staff are always happy to arrange tours of the Houses of Parliament for constituents who are visiting London, subject, of course to Parliamentary business (which can sometimes restrict access) on the day.
A full tour of the Palace of Westminster takes in Sovereign's Entrance, Norman Porch, Royal Gallery, Prince's Chamber, the House of Lords Chamber, Central Lobby, Voting Lobby, Members' Lobby, the House of Commons Chamber, St Stephen's Hall and Westminster Hall.
Due to the strong demand for these tours, it is best to get in touch at least 3 months before your planned visit.
Click here for more details.
In addition to their salary, MPs are allowed to claim various expenses to enable them to carry out duties on behalf of constituents
These expenses cover things such as running offices in the constituency and Westminster, the paying of staff, as well as claiming for a second home, which is a necessary expense for many MPs who have to spend part of the week in Westminster.
Since the General Election of 2010 the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority monitors and sets MPs expenses. They regularly publish Members expenses online on a 3 monthly basis. For more details go here>>.
Meet my team
Without my fantastic team of staff I couldn't serve the people of Penistone & Stocksbridge. In Sheffield I have 2 full-time members of staff assited by a further part-time member. I also employ a Senior Researcher/Chief of Staff who works in both my London Office and the constituency.
I'd like to introduce them you. So plaese meet the team