As noted by Kevin Maguire on Twitter earlier today, Labour MP (and former NUM President) Ian Lavery has been forced to step down as Harriet Harman’s PPS, having brought an amendment in the Commons that argued Prison officers should be allowed to retire at 65, like police officers, firefighters and members of the armed forces. You can read Ian’s comments in the house here.
Both Lavery and Harriet Harman have released statements following Lavery’s resignation, with the Wansbeck MP saying:
Political life is about being prepared to make your own political choices but I also understand the need for discipline within the Labour party.
I tabled a series of amendments to the Public Sector Pensions Bill which I was asked to withdraw because they were not in line with the front bench position. I was not prepared to withdraw them and I stand by that.
I have therefore decided to resign my position as PPS to Harriet Harman. I’ve done this reluctantly and with great regret.
I greatly enjoyed and valued my time as PPS to the Deputy Leader and she and Ed Miliband will continue to have my full support and friendship.
Following Lavery’s resignation, Harriet Harman responded, saying:
I thank Ian for all his invaluable help, support and friendship as my PPS – particularly during my time as acting Leader .
He will continue to play an important role in the PLP and in the wider Labour movement.