Shadow Welsh Secretary Jo Stevens quits shadow cabinet over Article 50 vote

Shadow Welsh Secretary Jo Stevens has resigned from her position in the shadow cabinet.

The Labour MP for Cardiff Central said she will vote against the three-line whip to trigger article 50.

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Corbyn reacts to loss of 'great asset' Jo Stevens

Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn has said he understands Jo Stevens' difficulty with being asked to vote in favour of triggering Brexit. But in his response to her resignation, he said it was right that their party respected the referendum result.

I would like to thank Jo Stevens for her work as shadow Welsh Secretary. She is a great asset to the Labour Party and a strong voice for Wales.

I understand the difficulties that Jo, and other MPs, have when facing the Article 50 Bill. Those MPs with strong Remain constituencies are understandably torn.

However, it is right that the Labour Party respects the outcome of the referendum on leaving the European Union. We have said all along that Labour will not frustrate the triggering of Article 50 and to that end we are asking all MPs to vote for the Bill at its second reading next week.

I wish Jo Stevens well and look forward to working with her in the future.

– Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn MP


Stevens praised as 'principled' and 'effective'

Westminster reaction to Jo Stevens' resignation has included this supportive tweet from Labour peer and former Welsh Secretary Peter Hain.

One of the ministers she faced in the Commons has also praised her work as shadow Welsh Secretary -before highlighting Labour's troubles,

Jo Stevens was an effective shadow Welsh Secretary during the short period in which she held the role. Her resignation is unsurprising and it clearly demonstrates the chaos that exists within the Labour ranks.

– Wales Office Minister Guto Bebb MP

The Liberal Democrats, who lost Cardiff Central to Jo Stevens in the 2015 General Election, were similarly unable to resist focussing on Labour's difficulties.

Labour's shambolic attempt at opposition has given Theresa May a blank cheque on Brexit. Jo Stevens' resignation is an admission that she just can't persuade Jeremy Corbyn to stand in true opposition to this Conservative Brexit government.

– Cardiff Liberal Democrats Spokesperson

Plaid Cymru questioned Labour's commitment to representing Wales at Westminster after losing its fourth shadow Welsh Secretary in two years.

It is regrettable that the Labour Party has failed to put the interests of the country first rather than infighting with their leader and each other, playing musical chairs while the Welsh national interest is being drowned out by the right-wing Westminster establishment.

– Plaid Cymru MP Liz Saville Roberts
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