UK Politics

Labour leadership: MP 'unresigns' from Corbyn team

Sarah Champion (right) at a Labour rally in 2013 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Sarah Champion (right) has not given any reasons for rejoining Mr Corbyn's shadow ministerial team

An MP who quit Labour's front bench during a revolt against Jeremy Corbyn has been reinstated after asking for her old job back.

Sarah Champion, the MP for Rotherham, has retracted her resignation as shadow minister for preventing child abuse and domestic violence.

Ms Champion is on an overseas trip but her office confirmed that she had "retaken" her old job.

The BBC's Norman Smith said it was an "extraordinary development".

Ms Champion has not given any reason for wishing to return to Mr Corbyn's team, shadowing the Home Office.

When she resigned from the front bench last month, Ms Champion insisted she was not taking part in an organised coup or "siding with anyone", but she believed that his leadership had become untenable.

The BBC's assistant political editor said Mr Corbyn's advisers were "overjoyed" and said it raised the prospect of whether the MP was a one-off or whether others who had walked out of the Labour leader's top team were now having second thoughts.

A Labour source responded by saying: "You saw what happened when the first miners went back to work so let's see what happens."

Doubling up

Mr Corbyn is facing a leadership challenge from former work and pensions spokesman Owen Smith, having suffered a mass walkout from the shadow cabinet and lost a vote of confidence among his MPs by a massive margin.

Although Mr Corbyn filled the gaps in the shadow cabinet by appointing replacements, several politicians have had to double up by taking on two portfolios, while many middle-ranking and junior positions remain unfilled.

Owen Smith told BBC Newsnight Ms Champion was a friend of his and he understood why some colleagues felt they should be taking the fight to the Conservatives since most believed the government was "getting an easy ride" at present.

But he said her return was "neither here nor there", and suggested that "one or two people" returning to the fold did not "really change the basic facts" that the party was torn down the middle, adding that 150 MPs "suddenly recovering confidence" in Mr Corbyn was unlikely.

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