Jeremy Corbyn becomes Labour leader: Shadow health minister Jamie Reed is first to resign

The MP for Copeland tweeted his resignation before Corbyn had even finished his acceptance speech

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Indy Politics

The first MP to stand down over Jeremy Corbyn tweeted his resignation before the new Labour leader had even finished his victory speech.

Shadow health minister Jamie Reed resigned from the front bench at 11.43, a minute after Corbyn’s victory was formally announced.

In a letter to Mr Corbyn, he wrote that it had been his privilege to serve on the frontbench but he could not support his leader’s opposition to nuclear power. "Morgan Phillips was right, our party owes far more to Methodism than Marxism – and it always will," the MP for Copeland, in Cumbria, said. 

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"Over ten years I have managed to secure funding for new hospitals and schools and to establish new nuclear policy, the implementation of which I am immensely proud and which will enable my community to become one of the fastest growing economies anywhere in the United Kingdom. This will help to rebalance the national economy, enable us to better secure our energy supplies, help us to achieve our international climate change objects and reduce nuclear proliferation," he wrote. “Your opposition to this is poorly informed and fundamentally wrong."

Mr Reed added he was stepping down as shadow Health Minister because efforts to improve and protect the NHS become "much more difficult to achieve the longer we remain in Opposition" – a dig many will interpret as a swipe at Labour’s new leader.

Mr Reed is a Liz Kendall support and urged members last month to "hold your heads high when you vote Liz Kendall number one".

"Put your country first, your conscience first, your candidate first. Whatever happens in this election, Liz will emerge as an enhanced figure who speaks for a mainstream majority in the country and the party,” he wrote in an open letter to supporters." 

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