Caroline Flint

Standing up for Don Valley.

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Statement by Rt Hon Caroline Flint MP

Yesterday lunchtime, I spoke to our Chief Whip Rosie Winterton. I informed her that, after careful consideration, I have decided I can best support the Labour Party and the leadership from outside the Shadow Cabinet.

I also told her that I would not announce my decision until after key Shadow Cabinet appointments had been made public, as a courtesy to Jeremy Corbyn and his new team.

I have greatly enjoyed campaigning for the last four years for fair energy bills, to end the scandal of cold homes and for decisive action on climate change, so this was a hard decision to make.

In my Deputy Leader campaign, I spoke about my background and upbringing. My mum inspired me to join the Labour Party. I am passionate about giving everyone an equal chance to get on in life, leaving no child behind, especially children whose hopes and dreams are limited by who their parents are or their postcode. I now want to focus on this, and how we get more people from welfare into rewarding work.

Returning to the backbenches will also allow me to spend more time helping Labour reach out to those voters who turned away from us, but who share many of our values. After months of talking to Labour members and supporters, we now have to begin a wider conversation with the British public.

I hope this work will be helpful to Jeremy, the Shadow Cabinet and the Labour Party as we rebuild over the next five years.

I remain loyal to the Labour Party and will do everything I can to help us win the next General Election in 2020.

My first and foremost concern has always been serving my constituents in Don Valley, to which I will continue to devote the same energy as I have for the last 18 years.


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