UK Parliament

BREAKING: Tristram Hunt becomes latest Labour MP to QUIT in big Brexit-backing area

This website does not often report on Party Politics but have included this particular article because of its relevance to what may appear to be a starting trend in the North of England whereby the chances of UKIP gaining Parliamentary seats from Labour are becoming a possibility because of Tristram Hunt’s resignation so soon after Jamie Reed with both Constituencies having a strong vote for Brexit.

Naughty, I know.  But I love this cartoon from the Times Newspaper.

TRISTRAM HUNT today became the latest high-profile Labour MP to quit the House of Commons to trigger yet another by-election test for hapless leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Tristam HuntGETTY

Tristam Hunt is to quit as a Labour MP

The Stoke-on-Trent Central MP will resign from Parliament to become director of the V&A Museum.Mr Hunt, a former historian, served as shadow education secretary under former Labour leader Ed Miliband having been an MP since 2010.He retained his Stoke-on-Trent Central seat at the 2015 general election with a 5,000-vote majority over second-placed Ukip.The constituency sits in a region that overwhelmingly voted for Brexit at last summer’s EU referendum.

Mr Corbyn said: “I would like to thank Tristram Hunt for his service to the people of Stoke-on-Trent Central and to the Labour Party. I wish him well in his future role at the V&A.”

A Ukip source suggested party leader Paul Nuttall could be tempted to stand in the upcoming by-election, although it has been thought he might be holding out for a contest in Leigh should sitting MP Andy Burnham be elected Greater Manchester mayor.Ukip chairman Paul Oakden said the party would announce a candidate later this month.He said: “The resignation of Tristram Hunt MP highlights the brighter future that many in the Labour Party feel they have away from Jeremy Corbyn and his brand of politics.”We have no doubt that the example set by Mr Hunt will be one that many voters in Stoke-on-Trent will consider following in the upcoming by-election, where UKIP will be fighting hard to offer local people the committed representation they both need and deserve.”

Paul NuttallGETTY

Ukip leader Paul Nuttall is looking for an opportunity to become an MP

Within days of the Brexit result last year, Mr Hunt used a newspaper article to call for Mr Corbyn to quit as Labour leader as he attacked the left-winger’s “absence of leadership”.But, in his resignation letter to his local party members, Mr Hunt insisted he was not seeking to “rock the boat” amid Mr Corbyn’s continued stranglehold on Labour.He said: “The extraordinary privilege of serving in Parliament has proved both deeply rewarding and intensely frustrating.”As I enter a new role as a public servant, I will be leaving partisan politics behind me and will work impartially as a museum director.

“I am sorry to put you, the party and the people of Stoke-on-Trent through a by-election. I have no desire to rock the boat now and anyone who interprets my decision to leave in that way is just plain wrong.

“I will always be Labour and forever grateful for the incredible opportunity which the Party gave me to work with you to serve the people of Stoke-on-Trent as their Member of Parliament.”

I have no desire to rock the boat now and anyone who interprets my decision to leave in that way is just plain wrong.

Tristram Hunt

Tory MP and culture minister Matt Hancock posted on Twitter: “Delighted to confirm @TristramHuntMP will take on @V_and_A.”There are many roles in British public life for talented people from all sides.”Announcing Mr Hunt’s appointment, V&A Chairman Nicholas Coleridge said: “On behalf of the Trustees, I am delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Tristram Hunt as Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum.”He has a highly compelling mixture of experience across public life, the arts, history, education and academia, and knows our collections well from his writing and broadcasting.

“In addition, he is an informed and articulate leader and communicator on numerous facets of culture, both historic and contemporary, and I greatly look forward to working with him at the V&A.”

Last month Copeland MP Jamie Reed, a fellow Corbyn critic, announced he is to quit the House of Commons to take up a job in the nuclear industry, triggering a by-election in another strong Leave-supporting area.

The Tories will hope to nick the Copeland seat from Labour in the New Year, which would mark a rare by-election gain for a party in power over its main opposition.It would represent the first such event since the 1982 Mitcham and Morden contest and pile fresh misery on Mr Corbyn, who earlier this week presented a wage cap policy he quickly dropped and offered a muddled view over Labour’s position on EU free movement rules.Dr Matthew Mokhefi-Ashton, a politics expert at Nottingham Trent University, said: “The announcement of Tristram Hunt’s resignation will be hugely problematic for Jeremy Corbyn. Hunt had a 5,000 vote majority in his Stoke-on-Trent constituency at the last election, so theoretically holding on to it shouldn’t be that difficult.”However Ukip were the runners-up, and the area voted heavily in favour of leaving the EU.

“This leaves the party with a real dilemma with choosing Hunt’s replacement. Picking a candidate in favour of remaining in the EU, or even a soft-Brexit, might simply help UKIP. Equally there will be the question of whether the candidate will belong to the pro or anti-Corbyn faction of the party.

“Corbyn was already facing a potential by-election loss in Copeland, thanks to Jamie Reed’s resignation. Two in a row, combined with his highly problematic policy speech this week, could mean that politically he’ll be on the back foot for the first few months of 2017.”

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