Clive Lewis, MP for Norwich South, has resigned from the shadow cabinet over Brexit negotiations.
The former Shadow Minister for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said in a statement: “When I became the MP for Norwich South, I promised my constituents I would be Norwich’s voice in Westminster, not Westminster’s voice in Norwich. I therefore cannot, in all good conscience, vote 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.
“It has been a privilege to work with Jeremy Corbyn and be part of the Shadow Cabinet. I will continue to support our party and our leader from the back benches to the very best of my ability”.
He tweeted following the news of his resignation, thanking his supporters. “Big thank you to all the kind words & [sic] love shown tonight. Hell of a week. Now let’s get on with taking the fight to the Tories #A50Bill”.
Lewis campaigned for Remain during last year’s EU referendum campaign, and Norwich was the only area in East Anglia that voted to Remain, doing so by 56%. BBC figures released this week showed that eight out of the thirteen Norwich City Council wards voted to Remain.
Lewis suggested that he had considered resigning when he spoke to Concrete last week. When discussing this week’s Article 50 votes and the three-line whip forcing Labour MPs to vote in favour of Brexit negotiations, the MP said “some people are resigning…I came very close to doing it myself”.
Lewis was first nominated to the Shadow Cabinet in September 2015 as a shadow minister for Energy and Climate Change.
He was promoted to Shadow Secretary of State for Defence in June 2016, following mass resignations from Corbyn’s top team after the EU Referendum.
He was moved to Shadow Business and Energy one month later following controversy at the Party’s Autumn conference. Lewis was expected to announce that he “would not seek to change” Labour’s policy in support of the Trident nuclear programme, however this was apparently changed minutes before the speech. Jeremy Corbyn strongly opposes Trident, and Lewis’ removal from the Defence brief was seen by some as a tactical demotion.