Labour shadow minister Jonathan Reynolds resigns over Jeremy Corbyn's shadow cabinet reshuffle

The MP criticised Pat McFadden's sacking

Click to follow
Indy Politics

A Labour minister has resigned from the party’s front bench in the wake of a reshuffle by Jeremy Corbyn.

Jonathan Reynolds, who served as the shadow minister for railways, said he wanted to participate in a debate about the future of the Labour party from its backbenches.

He also criticised the decision to sack former shadow Europe minister Pat McFadden over comments regarding terrorism.

Mr McFadden says he was told he was removed from his position for comments he made about Isis in Parliament. 

The comments were interpreted at the time as a part of a “coordinated attack” on Jeremy Corbyn and his association with the Stop The War group by Labour MPs from the right of the party.

Mr Reynolds, who wrote to Mr Corbyn this morning, is the first person to voluntarily step down after the protracted reshuffle.

“Although I was personally against the proposal to extend airstrikes into Syria, I cannot in good conscience endorse the world view of Stop the War Coalition, who I believe to be fundamentally wrong in their assessment and understanding of the threats the UK faces,” he wrote in a letter to Mr Corbyn.

Jonathan Reynolds

“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.”

The reshuffle saw Mr McFadden sacked, alongside Michael Dugher, the former shadow culture secretary. Both were accused of disloyalty.

Shadow defence secretary Maria Eagle was moved to Mr Dugher’s vacant shadow culture secretary brief. She was replaced by Emily Thornberry.

It had previously been reported that Anglea Eagle and Hilary Benn were set to be sacked by Mr Corbyn, but this did not ultimately happen.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell told reporters after the reshuffle was concluded that there was never any question that Mr Benn would have been sacked.