Labour’s Chris Bryant quits, warns Corbyn he could ‘break’ party unless he resigns
One of Labour’s most senior out politicians has resigned his post – calling on party leader Jeremy Corbyn to resign.
Mr Corbyn sparked an internal party rift today when he sacked Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn amid a rumoured leadership challenge in the wake of the EU referendum.
At time of publication, 12 shadow cabinet members have departed including many of the party’s most prominent figures.
Shadow Commons leader Chris Bryant was the latest to tender his resignation this evening, tweeting: “I’ve just spoken to Jeremy Corbyn and tendered my resignation from the Shadow Cabinet. We need someone new to unite and lead Labour.”
Mr Bryant had been one of three senior out MPs in the Labour Shadow Cabinet, alongside Angela Eagle and Nia Griffith.
Ms Eagle and Ms Griffith have not yet made their positions clear amid the unrest.
The MP for the Rhondda told Mr Corbyn in a letter: “Your inability to give a clear, unambiguous message to Labour voters significantly contributed to the [Brexit] result.
“You left many Labour voters uncertain as to our party’s position. You made speeches that undermined the campaign to stay in the EU.
“You and John McDonnell regularly attacked the Remain campaign. Even on polling day there were people who thought you really wanted us to leave.
“Your ambivalent attitude in the campaign was a betrayal of the Labour Party and the wider Labour movement and it has let down a whole generation of young people who desperately hoped to hear a strong, cogent and inspiring pro-EU message from Labour.”
I have just spoken to Jeremy Corbyn. Here is my resignation letter.pic.twitter.com/n0Tbya06is
He added: “The referendum has shown that you and your team cannot run an effective national campaign and that you do not command the support of the country.
“The present situation is unsustainable which is why I believe you should step aside now for the good of the party and the country.”
He warned: “If you refuse to step aside I fear you will go down in history as the man who broke the Labour Party.”