NORTHFIELD MP Richard Burden has resigned from his role of Shadow Minister for Strategic Transport Networks in Jeremy Corbyn’s cabinet.
Mr Burden sent a letter to the Labour leader following a phone conversation over the current Brexit situation and his position as the head of the opposition.
And, following Mr Burden’s decision which came on Monday, Mr Corbyn lost a vote of no confidence 172 to 40 on Tuesday.
Mr Burden, in his letter, said he had no involvement in the ‘no confidence’ motion and added: “I thought that to respond to something as significant as the referendum result and the future of our country by immediately talking about the internal workings of the party would underline to many people that the world of politics is out of touch.”
He then went on to say: “I have always thought of you as a friend. We have worked together on things like Israel and Palestine for years. I did not vote for you as leader of our party for reasons I outlined at the time, but I accepted and respected the victory you achieved.”
Mr Burden said he had never joined in with ‘destructive sniping that had taken place in some quarters since the day Mr Corbyn was elected’.
“But we are where we are now. In a Parliamentary democracy, leadership involves being able to work with colleagues around you – people who have also been elected to serve their constituents just as much as you or I have.”
He told Mr Corbyn it meant listening when friends as well as enemies tried to tell him things – even when they were uncomfortable to hear – and it meant unifying, not dividing.
“Most of all, it means working out what needs to happen to go forward in a way that advances in practice the beliefs that both you and I hold dear. In practice, not only in theory.
“I honestly believe that for you to respond by digging yourself deeper into your trench is just going to make a bad situation worse, regardless of how many troops in the broader party you believe will go over the top for you.
“Many may do just that in an internal leadership election.
“Let us even suppose you win such an internal election.
“The question remains, would this have advanced the chances of progressive politics winning through in the country as a whole, particularly in the unchartered waters ahead? I don’t believe so.
“Not for us but more importantly not for the people we represent.”