John Woodcock steps down from Labour front bench

9th January, 2013 3:12 pm

John Woodcock MP was recently injured when he fell from a ladder a few months ago. As he continues to recover, he’s decided to step down as Shadow Transport Minister to focus on his constituency work. Here’s the exchange of letters between John and Ed Miliband:

Dear Ed,

It is with great sadness that I am writing to ask to step down from my position as shadow transport minister so I can concentrate on serving the people of Barrow and Furness as I recover from my fall.

You and our colleagues have been so kind in supporting me over these difficult past few months as my head has slowly been getting better from the injury I sustained when I fell off a ladder. I am now back working hard in my constituency, but full recovery is taking much longer than I had hoped so it no longer feels right that you keep open my place on the frontbench and leave the transport team a person down.

The health professionals treating me insist I will be fine in the end but have warned that it could take up to two years to get completely better. So, while I really hope to be well enough to be considered when you next reshuffle your team, my constituents have done me a great honour in electing me and I need to concentrate on giving them my all at this difficult time for our country.

The British people deserve so much better than the division and economic stagnation of the past two years of Conservative-led government. I have been proud to serve in your team and will continue to give you my full support as you show how Labour could restore hope and opportunity with the unifying One Nation prime minister Britain desperately needs.

Yours ever,



Dear John,

Thank you very much for your letter.

I am obviously saddened that you will be leaving the front bench, but reassured in knowing it is only for a short while until you are back to full health.

You have been a great member of Labour’s transport team over the last two and a half years and I thank you for your hard work, commitment and loyalty to both the party but also to me personally as Labour Leader.

I wish you a speedy and full recovery and hope this time away from frontbench duties will allow you to focus on getting fighting fit. Please let me know if there is anything we can do to help you.

I have no doubt that when you are back to full health you will continue to be an effective and assiduous member of my frontbench team.

Yours ever,



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