Shadow Cabinet Resignations: Vernon Coaker, Lord Falconer, Karl Turner

Mass resignations from the Shadow Cabinet today.



1am: Jeremy Corbyn sacks Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn from his Shadow Cabinet. The sacking comes just hours after the Observer front page claims Benn was organising a coup against the Labour leader.

8.30am: Shadow Health Secretary Heidi Alexander quits, telling Corbyn he does not have the “capacity to shape the answers the country is demanding”.

10am: Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell tells Corbyn’s critics to “calm down” and rules out ever standing for leader.

11.15am: Shadow Minister for Young People Gloria De Piero resigns. She tells Corbyn: “I do not believe you can deliver that victory at a general election, which may take place in a matter of months.”

11.30am: Shadow Scotland Secretary Ian Murray quits. He later tells Sky News Labour are “barely ready for opposition, let alone an election.”

12.45pm: Shadow Transport Secretary Lillian Greenwood resigns. She says Corbyn is not capable of presenting a “credible alternative Government”.

12.56pm: Shadow Education Secretary Lucy Powell announces has resigned on Twitter. In her resignation letter she tells Corbyn he does not understand the concerns of “our traditional communities…sufficiently to re-engage” with them.

1.10pm: Shadow Environment Secretary Kerry McCarthy quits. McCarthy was seen as a Corbyn ally within the Shadow Cabinet, but told him today a “new leader is needed to take on the challenges ahead.”

1.45pm: Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury Seema Malhotra resigns. She was John McDonnell’s deputy in the Shadow Treasury team and earlier today he was forced to deny Malhotra had been phoning MPs canvassing support on his behalf. In her resignation letter she tells Corbyn that with him as leader, Labour will not be able to “build bridges” across the party or reach out into the country.

5pm: Vernon Coaker quits.

6pm: Shadow justice secretary Lord Faloner quits.

7pm: Shadow attorney general Karl Turner resigns "with a very heavy heart".

9.20pm: Chris Bryant resigns as shadow Commons leader, saying: "We need someone new to unite and lead Labour."

<strong>Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary Vernon Coaker</strong>
Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary Vernon Coaker
Jonathan Brady/PA Archive

Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary Vernon Coaker is the latest Labour frontbencher to quit in protest at Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, HuffPost UK can reveal.

Coaker told Corbyn he has neither the “leadership” nor “vision” to lead Labour to a General Election victory.

Corbyn has now lost ten Shadow Cabinet members on a day of mass resignations designed to trigger a coup against the leadership.

The civil war was sparked when Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn was sacked at 1am this morning.

Since the axing, resignation after resignation has taken place today in a coordinated attempt to destabilise Corbyn’s leadership.

Coaker, who served as Minister for Drugs under Tony Blair and Minister for Schools under Gordon Brown, sent Corbyn his letter of resignation this evening.

He said: “Following the result of the EU Referendum the challenges facing our country are profound. The values of our party have never been more relevant but our country requires leadership and vision that I do not believe you are in a position to provide, particularly when we may face the prospect of a General Election in the next 12 months.”

In a statement released to the HuffPost UK, Coaker said: "David Cameron's decision to promise a referendum during the last general election campaign has resulted in the seismic changes the country is now undertaking.

“The decision to leave Europe leaves the whole of the UK facing massive uncertainty and Labour now needs a strong and clear direction to serve as an effective opposition as we move forward, particularly if we face a General Election in the next 12 months.

"I believe it is now time for the party to unite behind a new leader to ensure our MPs can serve the whole of the electorate as that effective opposition. It is with deep regret that I am therefore tendering my resignation from the shadow cabinet.”