The Guardian

De Cordova leaves shadow cabinet ‘to focus on constituen­cy’

- Jessica Elgot Chief political correspond­ent

Marsha de Cordova, the shadow equalities secretary, has resigned from Keir Starmer’s shadow cabinet with immediate effect citing a desire to focus on her marginal constituen­cy.

The Guardian understand­s that the shadow women’s minister, Charlotte Nichols, has also stepped down for personal reasons unconnecte­d to any political dispute. Nichols is expected to eventually return to the front bench in a different brief.

De Cordova’s resignatio­n leaves Starmer with a significan­t role to fill ahead of Labour’s conference next weekend.

She announced her resignatio­n in a tweet, saying: ““Having only been elected in 2017 for the historical­ly marginal constituen­cy of Battersea, I would like to focus more of my time and efforts on the people of Battersea. I will continue to support Keir Starmer from the back benches.”

Starmer said he wanted to thank de Cordova for her work including “highlighti­ng the disproport­ionate impact the pandemic has had on black, Asian, minority ethnic and disabled people … Marsha has also laid the foundation­s for a new race equality act that Labour would introduce to tackle the structural inequaliti­es which have existed in our society for too long.”

One senior MP said the role would be difficult to fill, citing tensions at a senior level over the party’s stance on transgende­r rights.

There is reported to have been a disagreeme­nt over de Cordova’s attendance at a LGBTQ+ Labour event at party conference with Nancy Kelley, the chief executive of Stonewall.

De Cordova had declined, citing a diary clash. Labour sources denied any link between the Stonewall event and her departure. De Cordova has been approached for comment.

 ??  ?? ▲ Marsha de Cordova: ‘I will continue to support Keir Starmer’
▲ Marsha de Cordova: ‘I will continue to support Keir Starmer’

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