James Forsyth

Sarah Champion unresigns and returns to Labour frontbench

Sarah Champion unresigns and returns to Labour frontbench
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Sarah Champion, the Labour MP for Rotherham, was one of the Labour frontbenchers who resigned in an attempt to force Jeremy Corbyn to quit as Labour leader. But today, she has asked for —and been given — her job back.

I can assure you I've not joined any coup, just think Jeremys position is no longer tenable if we're to be effective https://t.co/EiNhp2KH14

— Sarah Champion MP (@SarahChampionMP) June 29, 2016

Now, Champion was just a frontbencher, not a full member of the shadow Cabinet. But her un-resignation is another straw in the wind suggesting that things are moving in Corbyn’s favour.

Champion’s willingness to return to the front bench suggests that she’s resigned to Corbyn winning when the results are announced in September. It also enables Corbyn to say that by allowing her to come back, he has shown that he wants to bring the party back together again. Though, given how short staffed the Labour front bench is following these resignations, he can’t really afford to refuse any help that’s offered.

There is a grim mood among Labour MPs at the moment. Many of them fear that a Corbyn triumph in this leadership contest is almost inevitable. A former shadow Cabinet member told me late last week that, ‘All the data suggests he is just caning it on registered supporters.’

If Corbyn wins again, it will show Labour is now a party of protest, not power.