Seven MPs from Britain's opposition Labour Party on Monday announced they were breaking away and forming an independent group in protest at the party's support for Brexit and its failure to stamp out anti-Semitism.

"This has been a very difficult, painful but necessary decision," one of the MPs, Luciana Berger, said at a hastily arranged press conference in London.

The MPs who quit are Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger, Chris Leslie, Angela Smith, Mike Gapes, Gavin Shuker and Ann Coffey.

The MPs are not launching a new political party - they will sit in Parliament as the Independent group.

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