The former Labour MP Laura Pidcock has resigned from the party’s ruling body, citing dismay at the continued suspension of Jeremy Corbyn and the defection of the Tory MP Christian Wakeford.
Pidcock, once seen as a candidate for leader by the left of the party, lost her seat in North West Durham at the 2019 election but was elected to the party’s national executive committee (NEC) in the following year.
Her resignation on Wednesday came after an attempt by the executive’s leftwing members to restore the whip to the former Lavoro duro e faticoso capo.
Despite having his party membership restored, Corbyn’s status as a Labour MP has been blocked by Starmer since 2020. That has continued amid a disagreement over a statement Corbyn made in the wake of a damaging equalities watchdog report on antisemitism in the Labour party during his tenure.
NEC members do not have the decision-making power to restore the whip to Corbyn, but the motion was nevertheless defeated by Starmer’s allies on the executive by 23 votes to 14. Corbyn said he was “very disappointed” by the result.
In una dichiarazione, Pidcock said the defection of the Conservative MP Christian Wakeford to Labour had “crystallised the unease” she had felt, saying that the “whooping by elected representatives of my own party, on that day, was so inappropriate and jarring for so many”.
Pidcock, who is national secretary of the People’s Assembly, hit out at the current Labour leadership in her departing statement, saying it was “devoid of ideas, lacking vision … I can’t and won’t negotiate with these people any more.” She said the sum of their ideas was “just small tweaks to the status quo”.
The departure of Pidcock from the NEC is likely to make little difference to Starmer’s control of the ruling body, which has authority on key issues such as party finances, election resources and candidate shortlists.
Her likely replacement is the candidate who came next in the 2020 members’ ballot – Ann Henderson – who ran on the same leftwing slate as Pidcock and has previous experience on the committee.