Cat Headley, 34, a lawyer and Scottish Labour candidate for Edinburgh Western in the 2016 Holyrood election, resigned from the party last week.
Here, she explains why.
I joined Labour in 2013 after getting involved with the Better Together campaign during the Scottish independence referendum.
I had always voted Labour, but just hadn’t thought joining a party was for me. The Labour party has been such a phenomenal instrument of change, of progress and of equality in this country.
The Labour values of working together, the common goal of making things better for everyone and, as they say, “for the many not the few”, are the values I have always identified with. That’s why I joined the party.
My decision to leave isn’t a reflection of me having a bad experience. My journey in the Labour party in the last six years has been transformative, it has been life-changing and it has given me such amazing opportunities and friends I will have for life.
My life is better for having had the experience I have had in the party. But there are certain principles I have and certain views on politics I have which I feel have been compromised by positions taken by the leadership.
I didn’t vote for Jeremy Corbyn and it’s no secret that I have never been a particular fan of his.
However, I have – particularly following the success of his 2017 General Election campaign – been willing to accept that perhaps I had been wrong about certain aspects of his leadership and his politics.
But the final straw for me was the response to the arrest of Julian Assange and the complete failure to recognise – and in some ways go as far as almost dismissing – the rape and sexual assault allegations made against him and to acknowledge the reason he was arrested was for skipping bail.
The idea that this was all just because of Assange’s whistleblowing and exposing wrongdoing by the United States was just the final straw.
We can’t ignore the issue of the politics of the extradition request – that is important and I have concerns about that as well.
However, in the same way I don’t ignore those issues I think the leadership’s response, along with that of Diane Abbott, was shameful and an insult to victims of sexual abuse – whom Labour is supposed to champion.
The leadership’s priority did not seem, to me at least, to be the women who had made allegations against Assange in Sweden and who had been waiting for more than seven years for due process to be delivered.
One of the things about Corbyn, whether you like him or not, is that he is a very authentic person. You know the things he cares about and which matter to him politically because he can’t hide them.
I have, however, for a long time been deeply ashamed and uncomfortable with the issues around anti-semitism in the party – and the leadership’s response to that – as well as the positioning and prevarications over Brexit.
There is also the issue of the instinctive response that Corbyn and the leadership had to the Salisbury chemical attack poisoning, which is very much not my politics.
I had reached the point where I was no longer happy, where I said I could no longer in good conscience retain my membership. I felt I had to resign.
I don’t want to come across as ungrateful for all the opportunities I have been afforded by the Labour party.
But you have lines that cannot be crossed. Sometimes you don’t even know those are the lines until you meet them.
I would never have expected I would resign my membership over Julian Assange, of all people. But sometimes in the moment you know what you have to do.
When political people leave a party, it is very instinctive to ask where they will go but I am not joining another party and I genuinely hope I will be able to return to Labour in the future.
Being a member of a political party says a lot of things and for me resigning my membership meant something.
But it doesn’t mean I am looking for somewhere else to go.
A new leadership would be a likely factor for me returning to the party but, in the same way I would never have anticipated Julian Assange being the reason I left, I have no way of anticipating what it will be that will make me rejoin.