Labour MP reveals resignation from frontbench after poor election results

Sienna Rodgers
© David Woolfall/CC BY 3.0

Birmingham Perry Barr MP Khalid Mahmood has revealed his resignation from the Labour frontbench today and accused his party of being captured by a “London-based bourgeoisie” amid poor election results.

LabourList understands that Mahmood quit Labour’s shadow defence team headed by John Healey four weeks ago, but the fact that he stepped down was not announced by the party and has not been reported until now.

In a piece for Policy Exchange, the MP and senior fellow at the right-wing think tank has described the loss of Hartlepool in a devastating by-election defeat on Thursday as “yet another wake-up call for my party”.

He explained the results by saying “Labour has lost touch with ordinary British people” and a “London-based bourgeoisie, with the support of brigades of woke social media warriors, has effectively captured the party”.

“They mean well, of course, but their politics – obsessed with identity, division and even tech utopianism – have more in common with those of Californian high society than the kind of people who voted in Hartlepool yesterday.

“The loudest voices in the Labour movement over the past year in particular have focused more on pulling down Churchill’s statue than they have on helping people pull themselves up in the world,” Mahmood wrote.

He went on to suggest that Labour needs to respond to the results with “humility” and asks whether the party “in its opposition and confusion over Brexit” has “veered towards an anti-British attitude”.

Mahmood ends the piece by announcing that he will help to “fix” the party’s problems, though “will be doing so not from the Labour frontbench, but walking the streets of my constituency as a backbencher”.

The Birmingham Perry Barr last year came to the defence of broadcaster and former politician Trevor Phillips when he was suspended from Labour pending investigation of Islamophobia claims made against him.

In the foreword to a 39-page document published by Policy Exchange, the then-frontbencher described the allegations against Phillips as “outlandish” and said they “bring disrepute on all involved in making them”.

Mahmood also briefly sought to become Labour’s deputy leader in the internal contest held last year, announcing his candidacy shortly after the general election on December 12th, but soon dropped out of the race.

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