Rotherham MP Sarah Champion quits shadow cabinet as defiant Corbyn clings on

Rotherham MP Sarah Champion has become the latest Labour party shadow cabinet member to quit in a revolt against leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Tuesday, 28th June 2016, 4:52 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th June 2016, 5:53 pm
Sarah Champion

Ms Champion announced on Twitter she was standing down from her role as shadow cabinet minister for preventing domestic violence and abuse shortly after a secret ballot of Labour MPs passed a no confidence vote in Mr Corbyn.

She said: “I have just stepped down from my shadow minister job, but not my responsibilities to my constituents, party or victims of abuse.”

It comes after fellow South Yorkshire MP John Healey resigned from his shadow cabinet post on Monday in protest at the leadership of Mr Corbyn. Dozens of shadow ministers have left their posts since the weekend.

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Sources said 172 Labour MPs supported the no confidence motion against Mr Corbyn on Tuesday, with 40 members voting against it.

Despite the vote, a defiant Mr Corbyn said he would not ‘betray’ his supporters by resigning and claimed the vote by the Parliamentary Labour Party had ‘no constitutional legitimacy’.

He said: “I was democratically elected leader of our party for a new kind of politics by 60 per cent of Labour members and supporters, and I will not betray them by resigning. Today’s vote by MPs has no constitutional legitimacy. We are a democratic party, with a clear constitution. Our people need Labour party members, trade unionists and MPs to unite behind my leadership at a critical time for our country.”

Labour rebels will now have to mount a formal leadership challenge if they want to oust him. It is thought either Tom Watson or Angela Eagle may run against him as a ‘unity’ candidate.