MP refuses to be side-tracked

Gordon Marsden MP
Gordon Marsden MP
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Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden says he will not be quitting the shadow cabinet following a string of resignations by fellow Labour front-benchers.

But Mr Marsden, who is shadow minister for higher and further education and skills, admitted he was not happy with the sacking of Hilary Benn by party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

He said: “I am staying in post, doing the job I was asked to do for the time-being.”

Mr Marsden added he would be reviewing matters on “a day to day basis”, but told The Gazette he believed Labour needed to reflect on the issues raised by the EU referendum rather than spending months on a leadership battle.

He said: “We need to have two or three weeks of reflection rather than this series of orchestrated resignations which haven’t given anyone pause for thought.

“Whatever happens over the next couple of months it is important as a party we are looking outwards.

“People are still absorbing the implications of the EU referendum whether they are happy with the outcome or not. Their many concerns are about the future.

“And that’s what we need to be thinking about rather than the current situation in the Labour party.

“We need to spend the next three months addressing some of the big economic issues and what we need to do in Parliament to manage the process of Brexit.

“My priorities are issues that are key for Blackpool.”

He said it was vital the withdrawal from the EU came with guarantees or else towns like Blackpool ‘would suffer the most’.

A reshuffle following the revolt against Mr Corbyn has seen Fleetwood MP Cat Smith named shadow minister for voter engagement and youth affairs. She says now is “not the right time” for in-fighting.”