Members of the district's Labour Party are "sad and depressed" following the resignation of seven MPs.

This morning seven members of the party handed in their notices and announced the formation of the Indepedent Group.

The news was met with widespread condemnation from those still in the Labour fold, including from leader Jeremy Corbyn.

He Tweeted: "I am disappointed that these MPs have felt unable to continue to work together for the Labour policies that inspired millions at the last election and saw us increase our vote by the largest share since 1945.”

Angela Ayre, leader of the Epping Forest branch of the party, echoed his tone.

She said: "It is a really, really sad day for the Labour Party. Split parties don't win elections.

"We are a broad church and we always have been because institutions have to be able to deal with dissent. That makes them healthy.

"We should have different opinions in the Labour Party. I feel they should have stayed and fought their corner. It is very sad they left.

"Everyone is really sad and depressed today."

Mrs Ayre acknowledged that a lot of members had concerns about how anti-Semitism within Labour and the challenges of Brexit had been dealt with by the party, adding that she was a "loud Remainer" who would stay in the party to fight her corner.

When asked whether shadow Chancellor John McDonnell's description of long-term Epping MP Winston Churchill as a villain had helped widen the Labour rift, Mrs Ayre claimed it hadn't.

She said: "It was a stupid thing to say. There is good and bad in everybody.

"He was a great leader during the war.

"What he (McDonnell) said certainly wasn't the best PR."