Isabel Hardman

Three Labour shadow ministers resign following Corbyn’s reshuffle

Three Labour shadow ministers resign following Corbyn's reshuffle
Text settings

Here come the resignations.

10.40am: Jonathan Reynolds, a moderate frontbencher, has stepped down citing Pat McFadden’s sacking as one of the reasons.

Reynolds writes in his resignation letter that ‘I cannot in good conscience endorse the world view of the Stop the War Coalition, who I believe to be fundamentally wrong in their assessment and understanding of the threats the UK faces. The security and well-being of my constituents must always be my first consideration and I therefore believe my colleague Pat McFadden was right to condemn those who would to any degree absolve ISIS for their actions following the atrocities in Paris’.

Reynolds leaving the frontbench is not a great shock to the Corbyn camp, and even though there are more junior ministerial resignations expected, those will most likely not have a seismic effect on Corbyn’s hold on power. Unless the Shadow Cabinet were to resign en masse - which they now won’t do because Hilary Benn and Rosie Winterton remain in place and Maria Eagle has not been sacked but sent to her ‘dream job’ (according to John McDonnell) - Corbyn will be able to continue in Parliament much as he did before, just with a few different faces on the frontbench.

Update, 11.50am: Stephen Doughty has now offered his resignation live on the Daily Politics. The shadow foreign affairs minister sent the following resignation letter to Jeremy Corbyn:

Dear Jeremy,

Our party has always been a broad church, and despite my principled differences with you over many issues of defence, foreign policy and national security, I agreed to serve on your front bench because of the mandate you were given, the assurances that honesty and difference were welcomed, and due to the many areas we agreed wholeheartedly on such as fighting the vicious Tory trade union bill - which I was proud to lead our work on - cuts to tax credits and tackling climate change. I was therefore dismayed that two of our most able and experienced colleagues have been sacked for speaking out in the straight talking and honest way that I believe the public expect and want from their representatives - let alone when it comes to matters of national security. I agree entirely with the words Pat McFadden used in denouncing terrorism and the false narrative that the West is to blame, and so I believe the only honourable thing for me to do, when a fellow team member has been singled out for punishment for speaking with honesty and principle on this critical issue, is to leave the front bench. You and your team will continue to enjoy my full support from the back-benches in taking on this uncaring and brutal Tory government - but we need to urgently recognise and re-affirm as a Labour Party that the national security and defence of our country in such a volatile world, is a red line and a matter that should and must transcend party politics, let alone the internal machinations of our own party or personal score-settling.

Yours sincerely

Stephen Doughty MP

Update, 1.10pm: Kevan Jones, a shadow armed forces minister, has become the third Labour frontbencher to resign:

Jones explained to the World at One why he had resigned: 'Jeremy, I think, was elected with the strapline "straight talking, honest politics". There's been nothing straight forward, or honest, about what has gone on in the past 48 hours,' he said.