Labour’s Nia Griffith resigns from shadow cabinet, tells Jeremy Corbyn to quit
Labour’s Shadow Welsh Secretary Nia Griffith has quit.
Jeremy Corbyn sparked an internal party rift yesterday when he sacked Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn amid a rumoured leadership challenge in the wake of the EU referendum.
At time of publication, 18 shadow cabinet members have departed including many of the party’s most prominent figures.
Nia Griffith had been one of three senior out MPs in the Labour Shadow Cabinet, alongside Angela Eagle and Chris Bryant.
All three have resigned in the past 24 hours, with Chris Bryant warning Mr Corbyn he could “break the Labour Party”, while Angela Eagle told him “I have come to the conclusion you are not the right person to lead the Party we both love”,
Ms Griffith, who publicly came out as a lesbian earlier this year, has now also stepped down.
She wrote: “I recognise the huge mandate that you have from Party members. However, in order for us to bring about the change in this country that so many Labour voters so desperately need and want to see, the party needs to be united and ready for an early general election.
“I do not feel that our discussions this morning gave me the confidence that you can now achieve this unity.”
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She had argued: “The simple fact is that gay people in countries like Poland or Latvia are more likely to see their rights protected by EU-wide legislation, than by their national governments. And by keeping Britain’s seat at the top table, we can act to make that happen.
“Because when LGBT activists are being beaten and spat at in Pride marches in Warsaw and Riga, our response should be to stand with them, not to turn our back.
“Staying inside the EU is a strong show of solidarity with gay people across the EU, but it is also a concrete way of achieving change.
“I hope that LGBT people in Britain will join me in voting to remain in the EU so that we can continue to push for equal rights across Europe.”
Mr Corbyn has rushed to fill the vacancies in his cabinet – with out MP Cat Smith appointed Shadow Minister for Young People and Voter Registration.