Teresa Pearce set to quit shadow cabinet after local elections in May
Jeremy Corbyn’s Shadow Communities Secretary will quit her job following the local elections in May after just over seven months in the role, it has emerged.
Teresa Pearce said another MP would take up the brief while she focuses on her constituency work.
She was drafted into the role in October to replace colleague Grahame Morris, who has been on leave to undergo treatment for lymphatic cancer.
Ms Pearce told the Mirror: “I have been in an acting role for Grahame as he was ill.
“It is now clear he is not coming back to the role for some time and it needs to be a permanent position especially as we have elections next month.”
According to some reports she could be replaced by Durham MP Roberta Blackman Woods.
Ms Pearce said: “Roberta is ideally placed and I give her my full support.”
A Labour source played down any suggestion the move was a blow for Mr Corbyn, who has struggled to fill roles in his shadow ministerial team.
The source told the Guardian: “Teresa Pearce was always acting in the role as cover for Grahame Morris and it was always on a temporary basis.”
It comes as new analysis suggested Labour could lose as many as 50 council seats in the upcoming local elections.
Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth acknowledged the scale of his party's challenge, telling the Sunday Politics he hoped Labour would perform better than predicted.