Jamie Reed, the Labour MP for Copeland, has resigned his seat to take on a new role at the Sellafield power station. His resignation will trigger a by-election in the Cumbrian constituency, which Reed has held since 2015.
Reed has a critic of the current Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, and he resigned his shadow Ministerial role just minutes in Corbyn’s acceptance speech in 2015.
The 2015 General Election result was:
Labour – Jamie Reed – 16,750 42.3 −3.8
Conservative – Stephen Haraldsen – 14,186 35.8 −1.3
UKIP – Michael Pye – 6,148 15.5 +13.2
Liberal Democrat – Danny Gallagher – 1,368 3.5 −6.7
Green – Allan Todd – 1,179 3.0 +2.1
In his letter of resignation to Jeremy Corbyn, Reed wrote:
It has been an honour to have been elected to represent the people of Copeland in Parliament at the last three general elections as a Labour MP. It has been a privilege without compare to serve the community that I was born and raised in.
From the end of January 2017, I will cease to serve as the Member of Parliament for Copeland in order to join Sellafield Ltd as its new Head of Development & Community Relations.
This is an important role that will build upon my work in Parliament and my previous time at Sellafield and allow me to continue to help the community and industry of West Cumbria to meet the challenges of the future.
I am proud of what I have achieved over the past 12 years with the help and support of the Copeland community and the last Labour government.
Together we built, schools, town centre developments, university facilities, dental surgeries, healthcare centres and a new West Cumberland Hospital of which I am most proud. This is the hospital where my four children were born and which saved my life in 2010 when admitted to intensive care as a result of undiagnosed Type 1 diabetes. Universally accessible, high quality local health services, free at the point of use must always remain central to our political mission
West Cumbria now has its best days before it and – thanks to all our hard work – Copeland will soon become one of the fastest growing areas of the UK economy. I look forward to being part of this development in my new role.
I am indebted to all those who have supported, advised, assisted and encouraged me over the years. I am particularly grateful to the Copeland Labour Party and the hardworking, dedicated, decent people who sustain it.
In our country and in my community, the Labour Party remains the greatest movement for social and economic progress we have ever seen or are ever likely to see.
The ambitions of Copeland, and other communities like it, are always best served by a Labour government that seeks to renew our nation and which redistributes power, wealth and opportunity.
I have long argued that our national politics must meet this challenge so that communities like mine – far removed from our major urban centres – can shape our own futures. I hope that the next Labour government will help to deliver this.
Now that our country has voted to leave the European Union, we need a Brexit that works for communities like Copeland, and one that works for the whole of our country.
I love my community and I love the Labour Party. Leaving Parliament is the hardest decision of my life.
Communities like mine have felt the painful impact of Conservative policy more than other areas of the country: in local government, in education, in infrastructure investment but most of all within the NHS. We desperately need a Labour government so that communities like mine can build the future they deserve
I wish you every success in your endeavours to become our next Labour Prime Minister.