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What's next for Dawn Butler MP after her resignation?

TAKING A STAND: MP Dawn Butler at a recent protest in London against President Donald Trump's Muslim travel ban

SHADOW CABINET member and MP for Brent Dawn Butler, who is of Jamaican heritage, has resigned from her role in Parliament as Shadow Minister for Diverse Communities after adhering to her 'remain' stance on Brexit.

The vote in her north London constituency saw 72,523 vote to remain and 48,881 in favour of leaving the EU.

In a letter to her constituency Butler wrote:

“I am proud to represent Brent Central and I am proud that we voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU and will vote to reflect views of my constituency who elected me to be their voice in Parliament.

“However, due to my lack of confidence in Theresa May, I have decided that I cannot in good conscience vote for something that I believe will make my constituents worst off."

Butler Tweeted after her resignation on February 1, that it had, “been an honour to serve in shadow cabinet doing a job I love. Can’t let down future generations voting against poor excuse of a bill”.

Speaking with The Voice, Butler says she will continue to serve her community and was “still extremely honoured to represent Brent Central".


RESOLUTE: Jeramy Corbyn during Prime Minister's questions yesterday

In her resignation letter to the party leader Jeramy Corbin, Butler wrote:

“It has been a pleasure serving in the Shadow Cabinet and I intend to continue the vital and important work on developing ideas for Labour’s Diverse Communities manifesto and the fight to abolish employment tribunal fees from the back benchers.

"I hope I can continue to play a role in uniting the party”.

She further noted:

"Unfortunately I still feel strongly and want to send a message to our Prime Minister that I do not agree with the decision she is taking the country, the way for me to do this is to vote against the second reading”.

With the Labour Party in turmoil, could Butler or Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott seek to become party leader? If either attempted to do so and were successful, they would be both the first female and the first black person to become leader of the Labour Party. When asked, Butler would not comment on the prospect of becoming deputy leader.

Abbott has since voted in favour of triggering Article 50 against the wishes of the majority of her constituency after an apparent migraine that prevented her taking part in an earlier vote on the issue. Abbott’s Hackney constituency voted overwhelmingly to remain and she has argued passionately in favour of Britain staying in the EU, so it is likely that she would have had to resign from the shadow cabinet in order to vote against triggering Article 50.


CO-OPERATION: MP Dianne Abbott

Abbott is reported as commenting:

“I campaigned for remain and still believe that it is not in our best interests to leave the European Union.

"However, to say that because the vote went the wrong way we are going to ignore the votes of millions of people up and down the country would be a blow to democracy.

“This does not mean that we have to accept Brexit in the haphazard way in which it is being handed to us. The passage of this bill has been a challenge for Labour. Our MPs represent the top six most passionately pro-leave constituencies, and the six most passionately pro-remain constituencies.

“Following the decision taken by the Shadow Cabinet on voting for the Article 50 Bill, I voted for the bill as a loyal supporter of Jeremy Corbyn and a loyal member of the Shadow Cabinet.”

In the last general election Butler had a massive swing of 20.9 per cent, claiming her seat from the Liberal Democrats with a majority of 19,649 votes.

Butler has been the MP for Brent Central since the May 2015 general election, having represented Brent South from 2005 to 2010. Butler has served as Minister for Young Citizens and Youth Engagement in the Cabinet Office. In October 2016, she was appointed by Jeremy Corbyn as Shadow Minister for Diverse Communities.

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