MP Tom Harris quits frontbench for family
Wednesday 12 June 2013
Labour MP Tom Harris has quit the frontbench - saying he was unable to juggle the responsibility with his family life.
The MP for Glasgow South was appointed shadow environment, food and rural affairs minister in May last year.
But he told party leader Ed Miliband that combining that extra role with his responsibilities as a husband and father had proved "beyond me".
In his resignation letter, the former minister who sought the leadership of the party in Scotland, said he had been "delighted" to return to the frontbench.
But he added: "You and the party need frontbenchers who can fully commit to holding the coalition to account and to doing the hard work necessary to move into government in two years.
"I am faced with the uncomfortable truth that my talents, such as they are, do not extend to being an effective front bencher as well as a good husband and father."
Mr Harris, an MP since 2001, has two sons with wife Carolyn as well as an older son from his first marriage.
Writing for the Telegraph, he said he was not advocating making the Westminster role less time-consuming, saying it was right that being an MP should be a "tough job".
"Most shadow ministers with young families seem to cope quite well in balancing the demands of their jobs with their family commitments. I envy them, because I've tried and I can't," he wrote.
"So I'm passing on my briefings and papers, my diary appointments and contacts, my facts and figures about wildlife cruelty, fishing quotas and bee action plans, and my badger costume (that last one was made up but it's an idea) to my lucky successor.
"I genuinely hope he or she becomes a Defra minister. As for me, I'm looking forward to spending more time with my family. Serves them right, too."
- 1 Fifty Shades of Grey trailer released: First look at Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey
- 2 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 3 50 books for students to read this summer: From Ernest Hemingway to Gillian Flynn
- 4 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 5 Rebecca Hall on her film career so far: ‘I’ve played too many repressed neurotics’
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israeli targeting policy under scrutiny after shellfire hits a mother and child, a school full of refugees and a doctor’s home
Peaches Geldof: Her final day – and her fatal decision
Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
Iraq crisis: Isis orders Mosul shop keepers to cover mannequins
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israel may have committed war crimes, says UN human rights chief
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
£40000 - £45000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Service Delivery Manager - (Derivatives, Support...
£30000 - £55000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Technical Account Manager - Java,...
£300 - £350 per day: Harrington Starr: WPF Analyst Programmer NET, WPF, C#, M...