The resignations by a handful of Labour MPs have been welcomed by many opponents of the Labour Party, and lamented by many supporters of the party. I suggest that, on the contrary, these resignations ought to be a cause for celebration within the Labour Party, as helping to get rid of the cancer which has been eating into it since the 1990s, the Blairite “New Labour” disease.

The only regrettable aspect of the departures is that they have not had the decency to resign their seats in Parliament.

They were elected as Labour MPs by Labour supporters, and their campaigns were paid for by the subscriptions of Labour Party members and trade unions.

They have reneged on the deal, altered their “contract of employment”, and now call themselves “The Independent Group”, but have no right to claim that they represent their constituents or anything beyond their own interests. If they are so concerned about principles and policies, let them resign their seats and use their own resources to fight to regain their place in Parliament under their true colours.

The fact that (an even smaller number of) Conservative MPs have now resigned to side with the “Independents”, shows that the former Labour MPs are no different from their Tory colleagues: they never truly supported or respected the principles and values of the original Labour Party, and only joined it when the Blairite bandwagon had already taken the party off course.

What unites these two groups of dissidents is their belief in capitalism, private profit and self interest; and their contempt for the “ignorant and stupid” electorate whose opinions differ from their own.

Harry James, via email