Shadow Minister resigns from Labour front bench over Syria vote

August 29, 2013 8:56 pm

Rumours have been circulating in the last hour that Shadow Transport Minister Jim Fitzpatrick was resigning over Labour’s stance of Syria. That has now been confirmed.

A Labour source told LabourList in the last few minutes:

“Jim Fitzpatrick has tonight handed in his resignation as Shadow Transport Spokesman.”

In his Commons speech today Fitzpatrick argued that the Labour amendment on Syria is better than Government motion but is still too open to idea of future military action. He said he’d be voting against both, so a resignation is inevitable. He said:

“I have problems – for the honourable gentleman’s information – both with the Government motion and the Opposition amendment. I do not believe either is ultimately able to achieve the honourable ends that both sides of this house are trying to achieve. I’m opposed to military intervention in Syria, full stop. And to be honest with myself, and to be consistent on both questions, I will be voting in the ‘no’ lobby against the Government motion and against the Opposition amendment.”

(H/t: Coffee House)

More on this as we get it.

  • whs1954

    Let’s face it – Fitzpatrick hasn’t resigned because he really gives a stuff about Syria. He has a constituency full of Muslims, fought George Galloway at the last election, and has a particularly nasty Bengali nationalist/Islamist mob running his council and potentially challenging him for his seat next time. He’s resigned to burnish his anti-war, pro-Islamist credentials with those who will be asked to re-elect him. As for those being massacred in Syria, why should he give a stuff, they don’t have votes in Poplar & Canning Town.

    • Afzal

      @whs1954:disqus That is a load of rubbish. He voted for the war in Iraq and beat George Galloway at the last election. What were all the one dimensional Muslims doing then?

      As for Bengali nationalists running the council? Shows how much you know.

  • crosland

    Well that’s ok. He’s being honest and apart from being used a bit by the media, is better that remaining in a shadow post if he doesn’t accept the collective leadership position.

    Far more honest than this crowd;

    http://www.libdemvoice.org/syria-lib-dem-members-poll-35939.html

  • crosland

    Perhaps Diane is next ?

    • Mike Homfray

      I think she said she could live with the delay tactic.

      • ColinAdkins

        Abbott and principle are contradictions in terms.

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  • crosland

    The afore mentioned may well be true, I don’t live around there. However, assuming that is the sole motivation may not be accurate.
    Interesting isn’t it that those without any non-indigenous population in their constituency can wave the flag on this issue, while the Arab League is sitting on its backside (aside from suspending Syria from membership) and objecting to armed intervention, but certain members of it are still content for the USA and UK to go into Syria ? Why not let them sort it in their own region ?
    Time the Saudi’s got their hands mucky instead of pilots from the UK etc perhaps ? It’s not as if these states don’t have aircraft is it ?

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  • NT86

    But what type of Muslims live in Poplar and Canning Town? Are they Sunni or Shia? Some of those in the former category would have supported action since Assad isn’t a Sunni himself and Islam has its own tribal/sectarian divisions.

    Also you do realise that Islamists make up a huge proportion of the opposition in Syria. Supplied by Saudi and Qatar.

  • Mike Homfray

    I think it was tactical and Ed should offer him the option to stay -but as he’s almost definitely going to be a likely victim of re shuffling…

  • RogerMcC

    ‘constituency full of Muslims’?

    The only two constituencies with over (and only just over) 50% Muslim populations are Birmingham Hodge Hill and Bradford West.

    Poplar and Limehouse (the actual name from 2010 of Fitzpatrick’s seat) has a 33% Muslim population which makes them important – but not so important that Fitzpatrick can expect to lose his seat over one vote that displeases them.

    Indeed when Fitzpatrick was up against George Galloway the Dundee Jihadist only got 17.5% of the vote on a 62% turnout so it is unlikely that more than a third even of Muslim electors voted for him.

    And why is it axiomatic that all Muslims violently oppose intervention in Syria?

    We are after all constantly being told that the opposition to Assad is Islamist if not entirely made up of al-Qaeda members (an interesting Orwellian inversion of the normal far left line which used to attack every one making any such statement as ‘Islamophobic’ and which I think deserves a lot more comment).

    So why would the predominantly Sunni Muslims of the East End support a murderous secularist regime controlled by the Alawite sect that even most of the orthodox Twelver Shi’ites that Sunnis see as heretics regard as nothing better than pagans?

    And in fact this is what the Muslim Association of Britain has to say about Syria:

    We call on all activists and workers to support the revolution in every field and arena, everywhere; and to pressurise the political establishments to take firm action against the tyrannical Asad regime.

    So stop labelling whole diverse London constituencies as ‘Muslim’ and all British Muslims as anti-western fanatics.

  • RogerMcC

    Click on his name and look at where he normally comments and what he normally says – he even signs one comment at the Telegraph ‘A Tory’.

    In other words a troll.

  • JoaniReid

    Although I disagree, I have far more respect for this stance, that is one of conviction than the politically convenient one held by the others.

  • DoctorZoidburg

    Well done stick to your principles hopefully there will be more like him VIVA ukip;

  • MrSauce

    Good to see a politician standing up for what he believes is right.
    Shame it is so very rare.

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