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Jexit: running tally of Labour frontbench resignations

27 June 2016

11:30 AM

27 June 2016

11:30 AM

Jeremy Corbyn has insisted he is staying put, despite a vote of no confidence from Labour MPs passing by a big majority. Frontbenchers have now been resigning one after since Sunday 26th June to show that they want Corbyn out. And moments after the party leader issued a statement to say he was staying put, the latest round of resignations were announced. Here’s our full tally of who has stepped down from the shadow cabinet:

Monday 4th July:

Fabian Hamilton, the shadow Europe minister has stepped down from the Labour frontbench.

Thursday 30th June:

3.30pm Rob Marris quits during a bill committee. The shadow Treasury secretary said he wanted to raise a point of order during which he announced his decision to quit. He said he would not appear before the committee again until a change of leadership had taken place within the Labour party.

Wednesday 29th June:

11.30am Pat Glass, who has been in the shadow cabinet for less than 48 hours, is the latest to go. The shadow education secretary said it was her ‘dream job’ but that the current situation is ‘untenable’.

11.25am Emma Lewell Buck stepped down as Shadow Minister, saying she was ‘heartbroken’ at the predicament the party found itself in.

Tuesday 28th June:

6.30pm Liz McInnes, one of the few MPs to stand up for Corbyn at the PLP, has resigned from the party’s front bench

5.30pm Clive Efford resigns from his shadow cabinet position. He is joined by PPSs Paul Blomfield and Mary Glindon who have also announced their resignations.

5.10pm Sarah Champion steps down from her Shadow Minister role

5.05pm Kevin Brennan, shadow business minister, announces his decision to resign

5pm Christina Rees walks away from the Shadow Cabinet

4.30pm Lyn Brown quits as Shadow Home Office minister

11am Alan Whitehead resigns as Shadow Energy and Climate Change Minister. He tells Jeremy Corbyn in his resignation letter that he thinks the Labour leader is ‘not the right person to lead the opposition’.

10.00am Andrew Gwynne and Barbara Keeley‘s decision to step down means the shadow health team is now down to just two MPs.

9.30am Andy Slaughter announced he was standing down from the Labour frontbench after six years as a shadow minister. Slaughter said following the ‘utter disaster’ of last week’s referendum, he said the party needed to be ‘100 per cent match fit’ – and that Corbyn was not the person he wanted in charge.

Monday 27th June:

11pm Mike Kane, shadow international development minister, resigns.

8pm Nik Daken revealed that he had lost faith in Corbyn as he quit from his role as Shadow Minister for Schools


6pm Melanie Onn walks away from her role as Deputy Leader of the House. Melanie described the situation as ‘incredibly sad’. She is joined by Richard Burden who has resigned as Shadow Transport Minister. Burden told Corbyn that by staying, the Labour leader was ‘making it worse’.

5.30pm Sharon Hodgson quits from her position as Labour’s Shadow Minister for Children. She said she took the decision with ‘sadness’

5pm Jack Dromey informs his ‘friend’ Jeremy Corbyn of his decision to step down from the shadow cabinet. The MP for Birmingham Erdington said in his letter that he wanted ‘history to record that my old friend, Jeremy put principle before self’.

3.20pm Keir Starmer says that ‘with sadness and regret, I have resigned as shadow home office minister’ after describing how he felt that Brexit had ‘changed the challenge ahead’. He added in his letter to Corbyn: ‘It is simply untenable now to suggest that we can offer an effective opposition without a change of leader’.

2.30pm Thangam Debbonaire, Labour MP for Bristol West, has stepped down, telling Corbyn that she felt ‘much more could have been done by you in order to argue for ‘Remain” during the referendum campaign.

2.20pm Luciana Berger, makes herself one of the more high profile names to quit the shadow cabinet today. The shadow cabinet minister for mental health told the Labour leader that ‘loyalty to the party must come first’.

1pm Kate Green, shadow minister for women and equalities, has also stepped down. She said it was ‘untenable’ for her to remain in the shadow cabinet and that ‘the most important task we face today as a party is to show the leadership that our country needs’.

12.45pm Maria Eagle, the Shadow Culture Secretary, has tendered her resignation from the Shadow Cabinet. Eagle said that the country ‘now faces its most critical test for many decades’ and that ‘it needs a Labour party including a leader capable of winning the support of the people of Britain’.

12.40pm Nia Griffiths, the Shadow Welsh secretary, has resigned from the Shadow Cabinet. In her resignation letter, Griffiths says Corbyn has now lost the confidence of the party — including from those who had originally backed him. She concludes that it is time he did the honourable thing and resigned.

12.25pm Angela Eagle, the Shadow Business Secretary, has resigned. This is a bog blow to Corbyn as Eagle is very much seen as part of Labour’s soft left and cannot be dismissed as another old Blairite trying to cause trouble. In her resignation letter to Corbyn, Eagle writes: ‘You are not the right person to lead the party we both love. It is time you stand aside.’

12.20pm John Healey resigns as Shadow Minister for Housing and Planning. In his letter, he says he is deeply disappointed in Corbyn’s failure to recognise that the turmoil following the referendum results means that the party requires a new leader. Healey goes on to say that: ‘Whilst we all have a responsibility to help maintain a unity of Labour purpose and provide a strong Labour voice at this time of unprecedented national uncertainty and lack of government leadership post-Brexit, you are clearly not prepared to accept the special responsibility you have in acting to meet these challenges.’

11.55am Lisa Nandy, Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, and Owen Smith, Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, have quit. Smith said ‘The Labour party that I love and believe in feels to me like it is ripping itself asunder’. His colleague, Lisa Nandy, said: ‘I think we need to go and have the leadership election that has now become inevitable.’

11.50am Matthew Pennycock adds his name to the long list of those who have quit the shadow cabinet. Pennycock Tweeted to say he came to his decision after ‘having taken soundings from members and constituents’.

11.35am Jenny Chapman quits Labour’s education team. In an e-mail to Corbyn, she says she has decided to step down because ‘it’s become clear that you can’t hold our Labour team together’.

11am It’s not another resignation but Tom Watson has told Jeremy Corbyn that he faces a leadership challenge following the spate of resignations from the shadow cabinet. There were reports that the Labour deputy leader had called on Corbyn to resign, saying he had ‘no authority within the Parliamentary party’, but these claims have since been denied by those close to Watson.

10.40am Wayne David leaves the shadow cabinet, telling Jeremy Corbyn: ‘It is now clear under your leadership the prospects for Labour are not good’

10am Alex Cunningham resigns as shadow minister for the environment

9.15am Angela Smith says she will no longer attend shadow cabinet meetings

8.45am Jess Phillips quits. In her letter to Corbyn, she says: ‘I am really worried that you cannot see that you have made this all about you and not about them (the people of Britain)’

8.40am Steve Reed and Yvonne Fovargue step down from the shadow cabinet

8.30am Wayne David quits as Shadow Europe Minister

8.05am Stephen Kinnock resigns as PPS to Angela Eagle. He accuses the Labour leader of playing a ‘half-hearted and lacklustre role that you played in the campaign’.

8am Ruth Smeeth quits from her role as PPS to the Shadow Northern Ireland & Scotland teams

8am Toby Perkins: The shadow armed forces minister is the latest to step down from the shadow cabinet. His message to Corbyn could not have been clearer. In his letter to the Labour leader, he warned: ‘The Labour party is a more important institution than any of us..To allow it to risk the catastrophe it will surely face, if you lead us into the General Election campaign, would be a betrayal of my members, constituents and the wider country’.

7.45am Diana Johnson: has also stepped down from her role as shadow foreign minister.

7.45am Anna Turley: The shadow minister for civil society was the first to go this morning following yesterday’s round of resignations. She described the referendum campaign as ‘lacklustre’ in her letter to Corbyn, and went on to say that it was increasingly clear the ‘leadership is not in touch with voters’. She added: ‘I have had a number of party members and many many Labour voting members of the public tell me this weekend that they do not have confidence in your leadership.’

Sunday 26th June:

9:20pm Chris Bryant: the shadow leader of the Commons has resigned. His letter says ‘It seems probably that there will be an early general election in a matter of months, so it is more important than ever that we have a strong and convincing leader… sadly, the referendum has shown that you and your team cannot run an effective national campaign… If you refuse to step aside I fear you will go down in history as the man who broke the Labour Party.’

7.04pm Karl Turner: resigned as shadow attorney general. On Question Time Anna Soubry called his resignation ‘very significant’ as he ‘is no Blairite’.

6.45pm Lord Falconer: resigned as shadow justice secretary. Jeremy Corbyn has now lost a third of his shadow cabinet.

5pm: Vernon Coaker: the shadow secretary of state for Northern Ireland is today’s eighth resignee. He wrote to Corbyn: ‘Labour now needs a strong and clear direction to serve as an effective opposition as we move forward, particularly if we face a General Election in the next 12 months. I believe it is now time for the party to unite behind a new leader to ensure our MPs can serve the whole of the electorate as that effective opposition.’

2pm: Seema Malhotra: resigned as Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury. This move has taken many by surprise as Malhotra is one of John McDonnell’s key aides and seen to be a Corbyn ally. However, it was reported last night that Malhotra had been calling MPs in a bid to canvass support for a McDonnell coup — something he denied earlier today.

1.40pm Lilian Greenwood: Shadow Transport Minister. She told Sky: “We need to be an opposition who can present a credible alternative government. Sadly, I don’t think Jeremy Corbyn’s in a position to do that and I think that’s why we do need a leadership contest.”

1.30pm: Kerry McCarthy resigns as Shadow Defra Secretary. This is a significant departure as McCarthy was a strong supporter of Corbyn. She said in her resignation letter: “Although I do not doubt your commitment to your long-held principles, I believe that a new leader is needed to take on the challenges ahead.”

1pm: Lucy Powell: resigned as Shadow Education Secretary, saying ‘it is increasingly clear that your position is untenable and that you are unable to command the support of the Shadow Cabinet, the Parliamentary Labour Party and, most importantly, the country.’ She also said that Hillary Benn’s ‘cruel’ dismissal ‘in the middle of the night’ was the ‘final straw’.

12.01pm: Ian Murray: resigned as shadow secretary of state for Scotland and is Labour’s only MP there. He has told Jeremy Corbyn ‘we need to talk to the wider country… and not just our comfort zones’. And said on Sky News later: “We’re barely ready for opposition, I’m not sure we’re ready for government, and that’s why I’ve resigned.”

11.35am: Gloria de Piero: resigned, telling Corbyn ‘I do not believe you can deliver that victory at a general election, which may take place in a matter of months. I have been contacted by many of my members this weekend and it is clear that a good number of them share that view and have lost faith in your leadership.’

8.30am: Heidi Alexander: resigned, telling Corbyn in her resignation latter that he lacks ‘the capacity to shape the answers our country is demanding and I believe that if we are to form the next government, a change of leadership is essential’.

1.15am: Hilary Benn: sacked after saying there was ‘no confidence in our ability to win the next election’. He later told Andrew Marr: “He’s a good and decent man, but he is not a leader, and that is the problem. I no longer had confidence in his leadership and he then dismissed me from the Shadow Cabinet, which is understandable, and I thanked him for having given me the opportunity to serve as Shadow Foreign Secretary.’

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