Corbyn’s legacy GONE: ‘Last remaining’ Corbynite on Labour front-bench resigns

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Dan Carden wrote to Sir Keir to offer his resignation as Shadow Financial Secretary to the Treasury as part of a rebellion over the Covert Human Intelligence Sources (CHIS) Bill. The Labour MP for Liverpool Walton said that as a “matter of conscience”, he was voting against the Bill in the House of commons on Thursday evening, saying the proposed legislation sets “dangerous new precedents” on the rule of law and civil liberties. The Bill would grant undercover agents wide-ranging legal rights to commit crimes in the course of their work.

Commenting on the latest resignation, Daily Mirror Political Editor Pippa Crerar tweeted: “I could be wrong, but I believe that Dan Carden was the last remaining Corbynite on the Labour front-bench.”

Mr Carden’s resignation letter came hours before Sir Keir suffered a humiliating blow after 34 Labour MPs – including Jeremy Corbyn – defied the party whip over the so-called “spy cops” law.

The Liverpool Walton MP had already said earlier today he intended to vote against the Bill, thereby breaking the party whip to abstain.

He said in his letter to Sir Keir: “In these circumstances, I am offering my resignation from your front bench.

“On this occasion I am resolute that as a matter of conscience I must use my voice and my vote on behalf of my constituents to object to legislation that sets dangerous new precedents on the rule of law and civil liberties in this country.

“At the second reading, I followed the party whip to abstain in the hope that I could work constructively to shift the party’s position towards opposing the bill at third reading.

“It is now clear that this has not been possible.

“We have spoken at length on these matters and I know you have settled on yours and the party’s position from your own experience and with sincerity.

“You will understand that as a Liverpool MP and trade unionist, I share the deep concerns about this legislation from across the labour movement, human rights organisations, and so many who have suffered the abuse of state power, from blacklisted workers to the Hillsborough families and survivors.”

But despite resigning from the Labour front bench, he insisted Sir Keir still maintains his full backing.

Mr Carden continued in his letter: “My focus now and in the months ahead will remain on representing by Liverpool Walton constituency and fighting for the people of my city as we face the huge challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.”

Several high-profile Labour MPs backed their colleague’s decision to resign from the front bench in opposition to the Bill.

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Diane Abbott, the Labour MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington who was also Shadow Home Secretary under Jeremy Corbyn, tweeted: “Solidarity Dan. Your constituents will be very proud of you.”

Dawn Butler, the Labour MP for Brent Central, tweeted: “Solidarity Dan. This is never an easy thing to do.

“Liverpool is lucky to have you represent their voice in Parliament.

“I will be joining you voting against this bill. As I think there needs to be further safeguards on the face of the bill.”

This evening in the House of Commons, Sir Keir was hit by a series of resignations as he suffered a major rebellion over the Bill.

The Labour leader had told his MPs to abstain on the third reading of the proposed legislation, but 34 of them – including Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and Diane Abbott – opposed it,

Wirral West MP Margaret Greenwood handed in her resignation as Shadow Schools Minister, while Labour MP for Stockport Navendu Mishra also resigned from his role ahead of the vote as a parliamentary aide to Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner.

Closing the committee stage debate for Labour, Shadow Home Office minister Conor McGinn said of the rebels: “I think they’re wrong but it doesn’t mean I don’t respect the arguments they have put forward.

Home Secretary Priti Patel mocked the Opposition, and said: “Once again, Labour has refused to stand up for those who protect our country and keep us all safe.

“Their leader may have changed, but Labour still can’t be trusted on national security.”

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