NDP MP Sana Hassainia quits, says Mulcair too pro-Israel

The MP for Vercheres-Les Patriotes, Sana Hassainia. (ARCHIVES / QMI AGENCY)

The MP for Vercheres-Les Patriotes, Sana Hassainia. (ARCHIVES / QMI AGENCY)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:03 PM ET

OTTAWA — NDP MP Sana Hassainia has quit the party, saying leader Thomas Mulcair is too pro-Israel.

Hassainia, who represents Vercheres-Les Patriotes riding east of Montreal, says she'll sit as an independent until the next federal election. She says she won't seek re-election.

In a statement, the native of Tunisia said she had been considering her future for months because of shifting NDP positions on the ongoing violence in the Middle East.

"The first statement that the NDP released (on the conflict) is clearly despicable in my eyes," she wrote. "It stated broadly that Israel has the right to defend itself against terrorist attacks by Hamas."

Hassainia says the NDP subsequently took positions that were not as staunchly pro-Israel.

"For me, it's just trying to smooth out the NDP's image by trying, somehow, to take a less categorical position."

Hassainia also blasted Mulcair.

"For me, a party leader should be loved like Jack Layton and not feared," she said in reference to the former party leader who died of cancer in 2011.

Hassaina claims Mulcair punished her for supporting rival Brian Topp in the 2012 race to succeed Layton.

"I even paid for what was seen as a lack of loyalty by being dismissed from my Status of Women duties, and in being relegated to the back benches in the House of Commons."

Hassainia was first elected in 2011.

She made headlines in February 2012 when she walked into the House with her three-month-old baby.

Hassainia is the fourth NDP member to leave the party since the last general election.


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