Labour shadow minister Mike Amesbury quits Keir Starmer’s frontbench

Shadow local government minister says Labour needs ‘bold offer’ to put Sir Keir in Downing Street

<p>Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer (Aaron Chown/PA)</p>

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer (Aaron Chown/PA)

One of Keir Starmer's shadow ministers has walked away from the Labour leader's frontbench team.

In a resignation letter issued on Thursday Mike Amesbury said he wanted to have more freedom to campaign in his local constituency.

The MP, who last week expressed sympathy for workers going on strike, also said he wanted to "stand shoulder to shoulder with all whose only ask is a fair deal for them and their families".

He added: "I intend to provide this support and voice from the backbenches."

Last week the Weaver Vale MP skirted a ban by Sir Keir on frontbenchers supporting rail strikes, commenting that "workers do not withdraw their labour lightly" and adding: "They are fighting to save jobs in this cost of living crisis."

The Labour leadership’s order to his team not to attend pickets caused private consternation amongst some of his frontbenchers, especially after polls showed broad public support for the industrial action and its aims.

But Mr Amesbury said he was proud of what Labour was achieving and hoped Sir Keir would become prime minister, with “a purpose” and “a bold offer”.

Labour MP Mike Amesbury

“Our recent success in Wakefield building upon good local election results in England, Scotland and Wales puts us well and truly back on the pitch. I will do all I can to work with the Labour movement to secure a Labour victory and put you in 10 Downing Street,” he said.

“This must be a victory with a purpose, a mission to drive out inequality in Britain with a bold offer that gives hope, powers up people and our communities.”

He added: “I secured my marginal seat from the Tories in 2017 and retained it in very challenging circumstances in 2019. At both elections I promised that I would put my constituents first. I believe that if I am to continue to do so, I am not able to give the role of Shadow Local Government Minister the energy it demands and deserves.”

Mr Amesbury has been shadow minister for local government since 2021 and was previously shadow minister for employment.

Lisa Nandy, who leads the shadow local government team, said it had been “an absolute pleasure to work with” Mr Amsbury, adding: “Your constituents are lucky to have you.”

More follows...

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in