Labour frontbenchers who defied Jeremy Corbyn in Brexit vote will not be sacked

Posted On: 
30th January 2019

Labour frontbenchers who defied Jeremy Corbyn by not voting for a bid to delay Brexit will not be sacked, PoliticsHome has learned.

Jeremy Corbyn campaigning for Remain during the EU referendum.
Credit: 
PA Images

Nine shadow ministers were among 25 Labour MPs who refused to back an amendment by Yvette Cooper which aimed to extend the Article 50 process by up to nine months. It was defeated by 321 votes to 298.

They included Gloria de Piero, Melanie Onn and Tracey Brabin, all of whom represent constituencies which voted overwhelmingly to leave the EU.

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Members of the frontbench are usually expected to resign if they cannot vote with the party whip.

But it is understood that on this occasion, they will be let off with a slap on the wrist and face no further disciplinary action.

A spokesman for Jeremy Corbyn said: "It will be dealt with by the whips in the next few days in the usual way. Each case is treated on its merits."

But a Labour source said Nick Brown, the party's chief whip, had make clear at the start of the Brexit process that he realised many of the votes would be difficult for some MPs.

They added that MPs are spoken to and reminded of their responsibility to follow the Labour whip.

But one MP told PoliticsHome there was considerable anger on the Labour backbenches that shadow ministers were being allowed to rebel.

"People are fuming - especially those who had to resign over previous votes," they said.