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Britain Decides: former Middle East minister tells electorate not to vote for him or Corbyn's candidate

Ivan Lewis is among six former Labour MPs warning against Jeremy Corbyn's party

PETERBOROUGH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05: Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and candidate Lisa Forbes look at a themed corridor during a visit to Fulbridge Academy on December 05, 2019 in Peterborough, England. Labour is promising to cap class sizes at 30 pupils across all schools in England if they win next Thursday's general election. (Photo by Darren Staples/Getty Images)
PETERBOROUGH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05: Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and candidate Lisa Forbes look at a themed corridor during a visit to Fulbridge Academy on December 05, 2019 in Peterborough, England. Labour is promising to cap class sizes at 30 pupils across all schools in England if they win next Thursday's general election. (Photo by Darren Staples/Getty Images)

A former British minister for Middle East policy has urged people not to vote for him or the Labour candidate in his electorate in next week's election, and to back Boris Johnson's Conservatives.

Ivan Lewis was the Foreign Office minister for the region from 2008 until Labour lost power in the 2010 election.

Mr Lewis was running again in his Bury South seat as an independent after quitting the Labour Party during a disciplinary dispute over allegations of harassment.

Labour officials hit back, claiming his history made him unfit to make allegations of discrimination.

The former minister was joined by Joan Ryan, a former MP, in turning against his old party.

There are now six former MPs warning against backing Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, over concerns of anti-Semitism.

In a video plea on Facebook, Mr Lewis said it was imperative that the Conservatives won the election.

He said institutionalised racism had taken root in the party he represented as an MP since 1987.

"It is now clear that the best way to stop Corbyn in Bury South is to vote Conservative and support their candidate, Christian Wakeford," Mr Lewis said.

"Many will be voting Conservative for the first time and it will require much soul-searching. But it is the right thing to do."

A reported 70 Labour whistle-blowers have given evidence to an Equality and Human Rights Commission inquiry into the allegations.

Updated: December 6, 2019 12:03 AM

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