South Yorkshire MP returned to opposition front bench to ‘speak up for abuse sufferers’

MP Sarah Champion
MP Sarah Champion
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A South Yorkshire MP who returned to Jeremy Corbyn’s front bench less than a month after quitting in protest at his leadership said that she did so in order to be able to speak up for abuse sufferers.

Rotherham MP Sarah Champion previously quit from her shadow home affairs position in protest at Mr Corbyn’s leadership alongside a raft of other Labour politicians.

It was only when it became clear that he would not stand down that she decided she should ask for her job back in order to hold the Government to account on abuse issues, she said.

Ms Champion was given the post due to her work on child sexual exploitation, which has rocked Rotherham over the past few years.

A report published by professor Alexis Jay revealed that around 1,400 girls had been sexually abused in the town between 1997-2013.

The Rotherham MP said her return to her shadow home affairs post was to give ‘a voice to voiceless people’.

Ms Champion said she expected Mr Corbyn to resign after 172 of his MPs backed a vote of no confidence in his leadership in June.

At the time, she said the leaders’s position was ‘untenable’.

Speaking about her original resignation, she said: “Anyone that knows me knows that I’m not very good at politics, what I’m very good at is campaigning to give a voice to voiceless people.”

Ms Champion said she did not know whether other former shadow ministers would follow her example.

“I think everyone is making a very personal choice and that’s something that I respect. But mine is definitely to hold this Government to account because, to be quite honest, at the moment there’s a lot of people who need some support and they’re just not getting it.”