Two Labour MPs quit the whips office tonight as Jeremy Corbyn announced 21 appointments to the frontbench.
Conor McGinn and Holly Lynch stepped down just days after chief whip Rosie Winterton was sacked and replaced by Nick Brown.
Lynch, MP for Halifax, said she wanted to focus on “one of the most marginal seats” while McGinn said he wanted to concentrate on his St Helens North constituency and family.
Both MPs were thought to be unimpressed with the sacking of Winterton, who ran the whips office for three years under Corbyn, twice interim leader Harriet Harman and Ed Miliband.
Lynch and McGinn, who were elected last year, each sent messages of goodwill to Brown, a former Cabinet minister and Gordon Brown lieutenant whose surprise appointment marked the start of the reshuffle on Thursday.
“It has been an honour to serve as an Opposition Whip since last September. As Labour’s Treasury and Cabinet Office Whip, I was proud to play a role in holding the Tory Government to account and challenging its policies of austerity and division,” McGinn said tonight in a statement.
“I would like to thank Rosie Winterton, who has been an outstanding Chief Whip, and all my colleagues in the Whips Office for their friendship, guidance and support.”
The departures came as Corbyn appointed 21 Labour MPs to shadow ministerial positions, including 10 who resigned in the summer following the vote for Brexit.