He said he “respected” Mr Corbyn’s view that Britain’s nuclear deterrent should be scrapped, but disagreed and could no longer remain as shadow defence minister.
He told Premier’s News Hour that it was his faith that drove his decision: “I personally feel it’s not the decision for me to be part of the Labour front bench at this time”.
He said there had been “nothing straightforward or honest” about the reshuffle.
“Maria, it’s now being briefed that this was her dream job and she wanted to do it. That is not the case”. Two sources told the Guardian that there was an attempt to remove her deputies, Alan Campbell and Mark Tami, making room for allies of the leader at the heart of the whips’ office.
She yesterday insisted that she has a “lot more experience than people think” on military matters, highlighting the fact her brother-in-law is a General and that she was made an “Honorary Lieutenant Colonel” when she was conducting court martials as a barrister. Mr Livingstone was forced to apologise after he said that Mr Jones, who has previously opened up about his battle with depression, “might need psychiatric help” after the Durham MP voiced criticism of his appointment. “So did Tom Watson”.
In British politics, a shadow cabinet includes high ranking opposition figures mandated with acting as spokespeople for their party on key policy areas, such as defense, holding their counterparts in the cabinet to account.
Shadow Culture Secretary Michael Dugher, who had publicly spoken out against the regime on a number of occasions, was sacked, while Blairite Pat McFadden also lost his position as Shadow Europe Minister, leading to the resignation of Shadow Rail Minister Jonathan Reynolds.
In his resignation letter Reynolds backed comments McFadden made in the aftermath of the Paris terror attacks, in which he criticised the response of the Stop the War coalition, which Corbyn used to chair.
Labour said Emily Thornberry would replace Maria Eagle as defence spokeswoman.
Benn kept his job as Corbyn tried to forge unity with the party’s more moderate members, but three junior ministers in Labour’s “shadow cabinet”, which mirrors the government, resigned over their differences with the leader.
Benn said: “I haven’t been muzzled”.
Mr Benn openly spoke about supporting air strikes over Syria. “I said what?” an astonished McFadden asked Winterton.
He said: “I’ve just written to Jeremy Corbyn to resign from the frontbench”.
Mr Benn said he was “r eally sad to lose” Mr Doughty from the front bench, adding he would “miss his wisdom, insight and comradeship”.
“The issues involved go to the heart of Britain’s national security”.
Benn’s friends said that in two lengthy meetings, over Monday and Tuesday, Corbyn never raised the possibility that the shadow foreign secretary should leave his post.
We face a big challenge in winning back the trust of our traditional supporters in the North and the Midlands and Michael is one of the authentic voices who can do that.
Doughty was the second shadow minsiter to quit.
“I don’t think they’ve really ever accepted Jeremy’s mandate”.
“I understand they are now before a solicitors’ tribunal…”
Ms Thornberry, like Mr Corbyn an Islington MP, is the first unilateralist to hold the post since the 1980s.
“I know he will continue to campaign hard for the party he loves”.
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