North East MPs back in Jeremy Corbyn's shadow cabinet
Three North East MPs have been re-appointed to Jeremy Corbyn's shadow cabinet.
The Labour leader is finalising a bruising reshuffle which has seen some rebels return to the fold, while others prepare to step up opposition to his leadership.
Mr Corbyn moved to ease disquiet at the thrust of the front bench shake-up by revealing that 10 MPs who had previously walked out on him have now returned to serve.
They include North West Durham MP Pat Glass, MP for Washington and Sunderland West Sharon Hodgson, and South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck.
In a move clearly aimed at overshadowing the resignations of two whips after the controversial sacking of chief whip Rosie Winterton, Mr Corbyn noted the number of people willing to re-enter the top team after his landslide re-election by the membership.
However, the total of returnees is still just a quarter of the 63 MPs in shadow posts who turned their backs on him in the mass walk-out after the shock Brexit referendum vote, though there are more posts still to fill.
Mr Corbyn said: “I am pleased to announce the appointment of 21 MPs to our front bench, 14 of whom are women and four of whom are from the black and minority ethnic community.
“I welcome back the 10 who have returned, and look forward to working with the eight talented MPs joining the front bench for the first time.”
Others who returned to the Corbyn fold are Jack Dromey, Roberta Blackman-Woods, Kevin Brennan, Louise Haigh, Jenny Chapman, Matthew Pennycook, and Nick Thomas-Symonds.
Mrs Hodgson resigned from her role as Shadow Minister for Children and Families in June, writing to Mr Corbyn to say that she had not taken the decision “lightly”.
She has now been appointed Shadow Public Health Minister.
Mrs Lewell-Buck stepped down from her role as Shadow Minister for Communities and Local Government in June, taking to Twitter to say she was “heartbroken at state of Party & recent events”.
She has now been appointed Shadow Minister for Children and Families.
Mrs Glass also stepped down from her role as Shadow Education Minister in June, just two days after being appointed.
She is now Shadow Transport Minister.