Gavin Shuker steps back from Labour frontbench due to political differences with Jeremy Corbyn

Luton South MP Gavin Shuker (centre) in a trip to Zambia in 2012
Luton South MP Gavin Shuker (centre) in a trip to Zambia in 2012

Gavin Shuker has stood down as the Shadow Minister for International Development, citing political differences with new Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

The Luton South MP was appointed to the role in October 2013, after serving as a shadow minister in the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs for two years.

Mr Shuker was elected Luton South MP in 2010

Mr Shuker was elected Luton South MP in 2010

Mr Shuker was one of Liz Kendall’s biggest backers during the Labour leadership contest and said that the Leicester West MP would have been a ‘fresh start’ for the party.

However Jeremy Corbyn’s crushing victory on Saturday has dramatically changed the look of the party and Mr Shuker is one of those who has decided to step aside from the frontbench.

In a statement he explained that he did not want to be a ‘headache’ for the new leader and saw it as an opportunity to spend more time with his family.

He said: “I concede that I was extremely fortunate to have a party leader (Ed Miliband) with whom I shared a very similar political outlook.

Kelvin Hopkins (left) decided against a chance to join Jeremy Corbyn's frontbench team

Kelvin Hopkins (left) decided against a chance to join Jeremy Corbyn's frontbench team

“Looking down the line, I can see a number of issues where that need for collective responsibility would become a tension, and I certainly don’t want to be a headache for our new leader.

“I want to see him lead and succeed.

“Beyond that, the additional responsibility has prevented me from being as present for my daughter– in particular– as I would like to be, and at two years of age, I know we will never get that time back.

“So I let it be known that I’d like to step back from the DFID team during this reshuffle.”

Mike Kane, MP for Wythenshawe and Sale East, is the new Shadow Minister for International Development and will serve under Diane Abbott.

Mr Shuker added: “I’m extremely grateful to Ed Miliband for taking the risk of appointing me, especially as it made me the youngest frontbencher in the Labour team for much of the last parliament.

“I hope I will have the opportunity to serve again.”

> On Monday the Luton News revealed that Mr Shuker’s cross town colleague Kelvin Hopkins was invited to meet with Mr Corbyn’s team over a role, but opted to remain a backbench MP.

He said: “I went to a meeting and had a discussion with (Mr Corbyn’s) team.

“Although it’s an honour it is not something I am seeking at this point as I have lots of irons in many fires and I want to continue pursuing those.

“I’m very active politically and if you are a front bencher you become quite restricted in what you can say within your brief.

“Jeremy will need support on the backbenches and I hope I can make a significant impact there.

“He will need to build bridges with all sorts of people, Labour is a broad church.”