A SENIOR Labour councillor in Swindon has reacted to seven MPs from his party resigning and forming their own group known as the Independent Group.

The announcement was made earlier this morning, with the defecting MPs criticising the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, arguing that the party was facilitating Brexit, and accusing it of bullying, bigotry, anti-semitism and racism.

After the news broke, the Adver contacted a number of Swindon Labour representatives for comment and Swindon Borough councillor for Mannington and Western Jim Robbins was first to respond.

He said: "I think it's a sad day for the Labour Party and some of the criticisms are quite damning. The right response is for the party to have a bit of introspection and look at what they are saying and what has led these MPs to leave the party.

"There's more that the Labour Party needs to do to stamp-out anti-semitism. The abuse that Luciana Berger received was absolutely horrid.

"There was a lot of talk that this was imminent, I heard the rumours and was aware that this was a possibility but up until the conference happened I didn't know who was involved.

"This will almost certainly will lead to more people joining. Some Conservative MPs are up for deselection and other Labour MPs will be thinking long and hard after this."

Coun Robbins reassured residents that he would not be leaving the Labour Party.

He added: "I was elected as councillor by the people of Mannington and Western, I gave them a promise and have their trust, so I would not change parties halfway through a mandate."