Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Shadow Minister Quits after Labour Reshuffle

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Shadow Minister Quits after Labour Reshuffle

Article excerpt

Byline: Rachel Wearmouth Regional Affairs Reporter

SHADOW Defence Minister Ke van Jones has resigned from the Labour front bench in the wake of Jeremy Corbyn's shadow cabinet reshuffle.

The North Durham MP said he wants to make the case for the renew al of Trident from the back benches. It comes after the Labour leader moved Maria Eagle from the role of Shadow Defence Secretary to Culture and replaced her with North London MP Emily Thornberry, who is in favour of unilateral nuclear disarma ment.

Mr Jones wrote to Mr Corbyn, say ing: "Defence has always been an integral part of the Labour tradition, and we should always remember that it is an important issue to Labour communities across the country."

He said nuclear disarmament is an issue that has divided the Labour Party, but added: "However, as you know from our discussions when you appointed me in this role, I do not agree with this view. I have been clear and consistent that I believe it is the right policy for the country to maintain a minimum credible nucle ar deterrent, while working to ad vance global nuclear disarmament." The MP also clashed with Ken Liv ingstone in recent weeks when Mr Corbyn put the former London may or in charge of the party's defence review. 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 Dur ham MP voiced criticism of his appointment.

Two other North East MPs have been promoted by Jeremy Corbyn.

North West Durham MP Pat Glass has been appointed as the new Shad ow Europe Minister as the region looks ahead to the forthcoming refer endum on the country's mem bership of the EU.

South Shields' Emma LewellBuck, meanwhile, became Shadow Minister for Devolution and Local Government.

The Tyneside MP, who was former ly Private Parliamentary Secretary to Shadow Home Secretary Andy Burn ham, will play a key role in holding the Conservatives to account over the Northern Powerhouse agenda, and as they devolve powers to bodies such as the North East Combined Authority. …

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