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8 February 2017

Clive Lewis quits the shadow cabinet

The Norwich South MP, tipped as a future leader, has quit in order to vote against triggering Article 50. 

By Stephen Bush

Clive Lewis has resigned as shadow secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy in order to vote against triggering Article 50. 

Lewis, whose seat of Norwich South voted to remain in the European Union, said in a statement that in could not in “good conscience for something I believe will ultimately harm the city I have the honour to represent, love and call home. It is therefore with a heavy heart that I have decided to resign from the shadow cabinet.”

Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, thanked Lewis for his service in the shadow cabinet, which, he said “underlined what an asset he is to the Labour Party and our movement”. Adding that he understood the “difficulties MPs representing constituencies which voted Remain have” in relation to the three-line whip imposed by the party to vote to trigger Article 50, he added that he looked “forward to working with him in the future”, hinting at an early return to the shadow cabinet for Lewis.  As yet, none of the posts vacated by resigning frontbenchers have been filled, while those junior frontbenchers who broken the whip on the second reading have yet to find out what consequences there will be for breaking the whip.

The leader’s aides expect to begin a reshuffle tomorrow and Friday. Chi Onwurah is among those tipped to fill the post of shadow business secretary, while Nick Thomas-Symonds is tipped to fill the vacant post of Secretary of State for Wales. 

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