Wales On Sunday - - NEWS - SHAUN CONNOLLY and DAN O’DONOGHUE news­desk@waleson­line.co.uk

LABOUR for­mer home sec­re­tary Lord David Blun­kett has said that the res­ig­na­tion of vet­eran MP Frank Field means the party faces “ir­rel­e­vance” un­less the sit­u­a­tion is used as a “cat­a­lyst for seis­mic change”.

Lord Blun­kett in­sisted the vet­eran Birken­head MP’s de­ci­sion to quit the Labour whip called for a re­think of the “Cor­byn project”.

Writ­ing in the Daily Tele­graph, Lord Blun­kett said: “Frank Field’s de­ci­sion, and his con­cerns over both anti-Semitism and the be­hav­iour of party mem­bers, indi­cate a deeper malaise. His ac­tions need to be seen as a cat­a­lyst for seis­mic change and a re­think of the so-called ‘Cor­byn project’.

“The com­mit­ment to Labour as a ‘broad church’, which mo­ti­vated some of those who nom­i­nated Jeremy, has been thrown back in their faces and demon­strated that the so-called ‘new style of pol­i­tics’ is any­thing but.

“Quite sim­ply, Labour has to put its own house in or­der as de­ci­sively and speed­ily as pos­si­ble.

“What mat­ters for the health of our democ­racy and the con­ti­nu­ity of the ex­is­tence of the Labour party, of which I have been a mem­ber for 55 years, are the ac­tions taken and the qual­ity of lead­er­ship from Jeremy Cor­byn and his col­leagues over the next seven days.

“Ei­ther Jeremy Cor­byn can lead a party into grad­ual de­cline and ir­rel­e­vance, or demon­strate that he can lead a party fit for govern­ment. The choice is his.”

The com­ments came as Mr Field said he will em­ploy “the best le­gal minds” to dis­pute party rules which say he can­not re­turn to the party af­ter re­sign­ing the whip.

Mr Field, who has served as the MP for Birken­head for al­most 40 years, was told by party chief whip Nick Brown that his de­ci­sion to re­sign au­to­mat­i­cally meant he was no longer a mem­ber.

Labour sources con­firmed that by re­sign­ing the whip Mr Field had “au­to­mat­i­cally opted to re­sign from the Labour Party”.

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