Labour Party turmoil: Shadow business secretary Angela Eagle resigns

Francesca Washtell
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Angela Eagle resigned as shadow business secretary this afternoon (Source: Getty)

The shadow business secretary, Angela Eagle, has become the latest high-profile Labour MP to step down from Jeremy Corbyn's cabinet today.

"I am devastated by the result of the EU referendum," Eagle said in her resignation letter to Jeremy Corbyn this afternoon."

She continued: "Too many of our supporters were taken in by right-wing arguments and I believe this happened, in part, because under your leadership the case to remain in the EU was made with half-hearted ambivalence rather than full-throated clarity."

Read more: Corbyn told to resign by deputy leader Tom Watson

"While I respect the decision of the electorate, it is the communities we were both elected to serve that have been severely let down. They will be the first to suffer the economic consequences of this decision. They now face the prospect of a much more right-wing Tory Prime Minister and an advancing threat from Ukip in our heartlands which must be vigorously countered."

"In such turbulent times, we need a leader who can unite rather than divide the Labour Party. We need a leader who can hold the Tories to account, provide a genuine alternative, and who can convince the country that we understand their concerns and aspirations. We need a leader who can heal the deep divisions in our country, stand up for our communities, and ultimately to keep our United Kingdom together."

Her resignation was followed by shadow secretary for culture, Maria Eagle, as well as shadow secretary of state for Wales, Nia Griffith.

Angela Eagle's parliamentary private secretary, Stephen Kinnock, also resigned this morning, while a source told City A.M. yesterday she was planning to step down today.

Read more: Who's in and who's out of Jeremy Corbyn's frontbench team?

More than 15 members of Corbyn's shadow cabinet have now resigned in a turbulent two days for the Labour Party, including Ian Murray, the shadow Scotland secretary, Northern Ireland secretary Vernon Coaker, shadow leader of the House of Commons Chris Bryant and shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander.

Corbyn announced a raft of new shadow cabinet members this morning, which included Emily Thornberry as shadow foreign secretary and Diane Abbott as shadow health secretary.

Deputy leader Tom Watson reportedly advised the Labour chief to resign this morning.

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