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Christian MP's faith drove him to resign from Corbyn's front bench

Wed 06 Jan 2016
By Hannah Tooley

Christian MP Jonathan Reynolds has resigned as the Shadow Minister for Transport, in what is being dubbed the "revenge reshuffle". 

Mr Reynolds, who represents Stalybridge and Hyde, told Premier's News Hour he had no option: "If you're going to be on the front bench of one of the two big parties you have to go along with more of a collective position, that's how our system works.

"And if you're not happy with some of that, or you simply want the freedom to say more, or you disagree with some of the decisions taken, I think the principle thing to do is to leave in a dignified fashion, which I've tried to do."

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.

"And I think that's who I am, a lot of people with the Christian faith with recognise those traits in themselves whatever jobs they do."

He said he consulted his family: "In terms of my decision it's not something I spoke about with anyone else other than my wife this morning.

"People will have to do what they think is best, but any party leader has to be able to command a wide ranging amount of support within their own political party."

PA

Hilary Benn remains as Jeremy Corbyn's shadow foreign secretary

 

Two other members of Jeremy Corbyn's frontbench have resigned following his shadow cabinet reshuffle: Shadow Foreign Minister Stephen Doughty and Shadow Defence Minister Kevan Jones.

Christian MP for Cardiff South and Penarth Stephen Doughty resigned live on air on the BBC's Daily Politics programme. 

It came after Jeremy Corbyn sacked the Shadow Europe Minister, Pat McFadden over "disloyalty" after he appeared to criticise his stance on terrorism.

Europe spokesperson Pat McFadden was dismissed, the Black County MP said that it was because he spoke out against the Paris terror attacks in November. 

Mr McFadden had publicly disagreed with the Stop the War Coalition for its comments claiming that Paris was “reaping the whirlwind” for western intervention in the Middle East.

Jonathan Reynolds agreed with critics who are concerned about the length of time the reshuffle has taken: "I'm surprised by the length of time but I think everybody was."

Leader Jeremy Corbyn did not remove Hilary Benn from his position as Shadow Foreign Secretary despite their high-profile clash over Syria air strikes.

Mr Benn openly spoke about supporting air strikes over Syria.

Mr Benn insisted he had not been gagged by the leadership: "I haven't been muzzled. I'm going to be carrying on doing my job exactly as before, which is speaking for Labour on foreign policy, supporting Jeremy Corbyn and campaigning really hard to get Labour elected at the next general election."

Listen to Premier's Antony Bushfield speak to Jonathan Reynolds here:


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