The shadow secretary of state for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has quit Labour’s frontbench over last night’s vote by the House of Commons to kickstart the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
Clive Lewis, who has led Labour’s business and energy team since last October, resigned last night after rebelling against his leader Jeremy Corbyn’s three-line whip to back the serving of the Article 50 notice that will start the Brexit process.
The departure of Lewis follows that of Rachael Maskell from the shadow environment portfolio a fortnight ago after she also refused to back Labour’s three-line whip on supporting the serving of Article 50.
Corbyn is expected to conduct a reshuffle soon to restore his shadow frontbench, the fourth he has conducted since the beginning of last year.
In the meantime, Barry Gardiner retains the portfolio of shadow climate change secretary of state. Alan Whitehead, who also defied the three- line whip on Article 50, remains in post as shadow minster of state for energy, handling day to day policy in the area.