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Russell-Moyle resigns from Shadow Cabinet

2 min read
17 July 2020 | UK NEWS

Labour’s Shadow Minister for Natural Environment and Air Quality has resigned from his position in the Shadow Cabinet.

Lloyd Russell-Moyle, the MP for Brighton Kemptown, stepped down from his position owing to what he called a “right-wing media campaign” against him and his team.

Russell-Moyle is the second arch-Corbynite to leave the Shadow Cabinet in recent weeks, following Rebecca Long-Bailey’s departure as Shadow Education Secretary after she reposted an article containing an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.

Russell-Moyle himself had been embroiled in anti- Semitic scandal recently, when a Facebook post, now deleted, emerged in which he said that Jewish claims to Israel were “not progressive in [their] very nature” and that Zionism was a “dangerous nationalist idea”. These comments were made before he became an MP in 2017.

He was also forced apologise to Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling for claiming that she was using her domestic violence experiences to attack transgender identity.

Russell-Moyle had also faced criticism following the 2019 General Election, when he said of the Conservatives: “We will fight them in the Parliament, we will fight them in the courts, we will fight them in the workplaces and we will fight them in the streets.”

In his resignation letter to Starmer, he wrote:

“It is with regret I leave the Shadow Ministry, but owing to a campaign by the right-wing media my position has become untenable. This has unleashed a torrent of online hate and daily calls of harassment to my office, which has exposed those who work for me to abuse that would not be acceptable in any workplace. It is my job to get political flack, but it is not the job of caseworkers, researchers and assistants to be attacked. It has also led to hounding and stress, from which I need a few weeks to support my team and myself to collectively recover.”

A Labour spokesperson said: “Lloyd spoke to Keir Starmer this afternoon and informed Keir of his decision to step back from front bench duties as Shadow Minister for the Natural Environment.

“Keir thanked Lloyd for his hard work on the front bench and wished him well in his plans for the coming months to focus on housing and youth services.”

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