Jeremy Corbyn reshuffle: Shadow minister Stephen Doughty quits live on TV

Stephen Doughty is one of three shadow minsiters to resign in the wake of Jeremy Corbyn's reshuffle 

Click to follow
Indy Politics

Shadow minister Stephen Doughty has resigned from Jeremy Corbyn's frontbench live on TV. 

The shadow foreign minister said he was quitting because of the way the Labour leader had sacked his colleague Pat McFadden as shadow Europe minister and had “looked at his own conscience” and decided to step down. 

It follows two other resignations from shadow ministers in response to Mr Corbyn's reshuffle. 

Kevan Jones resigned as a shadow defence minister, saying he could no longer serve in the Shadow Cabinet after Mr Corbyn replaced pro-Trident Maria Eagle with anti-Trident Emily Thornberry as Shadow Defence Secretary. 

Jonathan Reynolds was the first shadow minister to resign this morning. He quit as shadow railways minister because he could no longer support the leadership after Mr McFadden was sacked for criticising the leader's reaction to the Paris attacks.

Mr McFadden said Mr Corbyn had told him his "disloyalty" included a comment in Parliament where he condemned people who viewed terrorist acts as "always being a response or a reaction to what we in the West do".

Mr Jones later accused Mr Corbyn of opening up a north-south divide in his Shadow Cabinet by sacking northern MPs while promoting London-based MPs, such as Ms Thornberry, whose constituency borders Mr Corbyn's. 

"The idea that our defence policy is being controlled by the north London part will be looked on with dismay by large parts of the country," Mr Jones said. 

He also accused the Labour leadership of "turning the party into a protest party and a talking shop". 

"I'm sorry but I'm not in politics for that - I'm here to make changes," Mr Jones added. 

Mr Corbyn avoided a spate of Shadow Cabinet resignations, however, after he saved Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn from the sack. 

Reports suggested that up to 10 Shadow Cabinet ministers would have quit in protest had Mr Benn been removed. 

But Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said Mr Corbyn will now have ultimate say on Labour's foreign policy and Mr Benn will have to talk from the back benches if he disagrees with the leader in future. 

But speaking to reporters outside his home this morning, Mr Benn denied there were new conditions attached to his job as Shadow Foreign Secretary. 

"I haven't been muzzled," Mr Benn said. "I'm going to be carrying on doing my job exactly as before, which is speaking for Labour on foreign policy, supporting Jeremy Corbyn and campaigning really hard to get Labour elected at the next general election."