Labour’s Jamie Reed quits his seat – and gives Jeremy Corbyn an Xmas headache
Reed has a slim majority of 2,564 in his pro-Leave constituency.
The Labour party faces a challenging three-way fight for a marginal northern seat after the shock resignation of the MP for Copeland, Jamie Reed.
Reed is set to take a job in the nuclear industry, working as head of development and community relations at Sellafield.
He becomes the first of Jeremy Corbyn's enemies in the Parliamentary Labour Party to quit their seat ahead of the next general election.
Over the past year, Reed has been one of the Labour leader’s most vocal opponents in Westminster, having resigned from the shadow frontbench almost immediately after he was first elected in 2015. In June he called for Corbyn to stand down after the EU referendum, accusing him of seeking “to inject an unprecedented poison” into the party.
The upcoming by-election in Copeland poses the ultimate challenge for Corbyn’s leadership.
Earlier this year, the constituency recorded one of the strongest votes to leave the EU, with 62% voting out.
In the 2015 general election Reed’s majority was reduced to 2,564 to 16,750 with the Tories coming second on 14,186. But Ukip also picked up a substantial 6,148 votes to come in third - and new leader Paul Nuttall will be very confident of improving upon that performance.
Picture by: Stefan Rousseau/PA Archive/PA Images.