Shadow justice minister Gloria De Piero quits Labour frontbench over party's 'lack of tolerance'
Gloria De Piero has resigned from Jeremy Corbyn’s frontbench and announced she will not stand in the next election because of a “lack of tolerance" in the Labour Party.
Speaking to party members in her constituency, the shadow justice minister said that while being an MP was “the greatest honour of my life”, she would resign from her frontbench position immediately and would not be standing at the next election.
The Ashfield MP said: “Tonight I will be writing to Jeremy Corbyn and Richard Burgon to step down from the front bench – I thank both of them for giving me the opportunity to serve but I want to spend the limited time I have left as an MP focussing on what has brought me to this Party – to fight for opportunities in life that people from backgrounds like mine rarely have.
“The Labour Party is made up of mostly good people who sometimes disagree on how to achieve good. There is nothing wrong with that. It’s good and its healthy and it should be welcomed."
But she added: “The lack of tolerance for different viewpoints in the Labour Party frankly worries me. We have to have respect for each other, even if we disagree, because we are all party of this Party.”
The former GMTV presenter said: "This party is about a set of values not any individual and we would all do well to remember that.
“And while I’m at it, and it doesn’t happen in Ashfield, but when I hear people being called right wing in the Labour Party I find it utterly offensive. We are all left-wingers in this Party – that is why we joined the Labour Party.”
The former justice minister also spoke about the criticism she had received on social media for not supporting a second Brexit referendum.
She said: “People in this local party have respected my position over respecting the referendum result – in fact Ashfield delegates voted against a second referendum at last year’s conference.
“It’s a democracy we live in after all, but the abuse I’ve had on social media from some who want to overturn the referendum has been pretty grim – so to all those who have said that I only hold the position I do because I want to hold my seat, I’m afraid it’s much worse than that – I actually believe it and I’ll keep fighting for a Brexit with the closest possible trading ties with the EU.”
Lisa Nandy, Labour MP for Wigan tweeted in support of Ms De Piero.
She said: “Sad day for Ashfield losing an MP who loves and cares for her constituents and has never given them less than 100% honesty and commitment. So much love for one of the biggest hearts in politics and one of my best friends @GloriaDePiero. What in the world will I do without you?”
Keir Starmer, the Shadow Brexit Secretary meanwhile said: “Very sorry to hear this: @GloriaDePiero is a fantastic MP and will be greatly missed.”