The MP for Greenwich and Woolwich has resigned from his role on the shadow housing and planning team after losing faith in Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn
Matthew Pennycook stepped down just days after the UK voted to leave the EU by 51.9% to 48.1%.
The overwhelming Brexit vote in Labour heartlands in the North, including in Sunderland, Barnsley and Bury, led to criticism of the leadership of Mr Corbyn from the Labour ranks.
In his resignation letter to the Labour leader, Matthew said that he neither nominated nor voted for Mr Corbyn in the leadership election but gave him his full support when he was elected.
He said: “I have worked tirelessly with colleagues on the team to expose the Government’s abject failure to tackle the housing crisis and the inequities of their extreme Housing and Planning Act. I am extremely grateful to you for having given me the opportunity to play a part in that collective effort.
“However, the result of last week’s referendum and the fallout that has ensued has fundamentally altered the economic and political landscape of our country.
“In the turbulent and uncertain months and years ahead, it i our duty to provide aunited, strong and inspiring opposition not least to ensure that the interests of the people who desperately need a Labour Government are championed in the forthcoming Brexit negotiations.
“The task ahead will require compelling leadership that can command the support of both our members and the Parliamentary Labour Party.
“Sadly, and despite my respect for you as an individual, I no longer believe that you can provide that leadership.
“I therefore urge you to step aside now for the good of our movement and, more importantly, our country.”
Matthew was one of around 50 shadow ministers to have resigned alongside 19 members of the shadow cabinet.
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