Jonathan Reynolds Books Return to Back Benches
Monday 18th January 2016 @ 14:13 by Tom Greggan
Hyde News Stalybridge

A social media spat between local Labour MP Jonathan Reynolds and leading party figures followed his decision to quit the front bench last week.

Resigning from the post of Shadow Rail Minister following Jeremy Corbyn’s reshuffle, he said he couldn’t properly support causes important to him from the frontbench.

The move came just days after he had shared a platform with the Labour leader to criticise rail price hikes at the start of the New Year.

In his resignation letter, he told Jeremy Corbyn: “I understand your need for a greater degree of discipline on the frontbench and therefore believe it would be more appropriate to advocate these causes as a backbencher.”

He also voiced his support for Pat McFadden, the Shadow Europe Minister who was sacked from the frontbench in the reshuffle.

McFadden lost his job after asking the Prime Minister to ‘reject the view that sees terrorist acts as always being a response or a reaction to what we in the west do.’

This was viewed by Corbyn, who used to chair the Stop the War Coalition, as a personal attack.
Reynolds added in his letter, which he released on Facebook: “I cannot in good conscience endorse the world view of the Stop the War Coalition, who I believe to be fundamentally wrong in their assessment and understanding of the threats the UK faces.”

He continued: “The security and well-being of my constituents must always be my first consideration, and I therefore believe my colleague Pat McFadden was right to condemn those who would to any degree absolve ISIS for their actions following the atrocities in Paris.”

Later that night, Reynolds responded on Twitter to comments made by Shadow International Development Secretary Diane Abbott.

During an appearance on BBC Newsnight, Abbot said: “When you look at Jonathan Reynolds, when you look at Mr (Stephen) Doughty, if you look at some of these others, what do they have in common?

“They’re all former special advisers and what you’re seeing is people that came up under a certain system where you did politics at uni, you became a special adviser, you became an MP, you became a Minister, who are rightfully upset because Jeremy (Corbyn) has brought in whole lot of new energy and new people into politics.”

The Tameside MP took to Twitter to defend himself, saying: “For the record, I was a trainee solicitor when elected, having gone to law school as a mature student and single parent.

“And I think you’re a total sell-out for sending your own kids to private school.”