Tulip Siddiq quits as shadow early years minister

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The Labour MP for Hampstead and Kilburn has resigned from her position as shadow early years minister over the Article 50 vote.


Tulip Siddiq

Ms Siddiq, who came to the post last Autumn, has resigned from the Labour frontbench following the announcement of the party’s three-line whip to vote for triggering article 50 and the UK's exit from the European Union.

In a letter to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, the shadow minister said she did not support the triggering of article 50 and could not ‘reconcile ‘ herself to the frontbench position.

She went on to say, ‘Leaving the European Union presents enormous uncertainty for my constituents, with most believing that the disadvantages of leaving outweigh any potential benefits. Many still don’t have firm guarantees that their residential rights will be protected after Brexit.’

She added, ‘I have always been clear – I do not represent Westminster in Hampstead and Kilburn, I represent Hampstead and Kilburn in Westminster. I feel that the most effective place for me to counter Theresa’s May hard Brexit is from the bankbenches.’

Ms Siddiq told Nursery World, 'I have cherished my time as Labour’s spokesperson for early years education and deeply regret having to resign from the role. I was proud to use my time as the shadow minister to focus on the Government’s woeful under-funding of the sector and the risk of closure for hundreds of nurseries as the Government’s 30 hours promise unravels.

'The timing of the Article 50 vote is unfortunate, as I would have relished the opportunity to continue questioning ministers from the frontbench on their approach to funding and an early years workforce strategy that seems to have vanished into thin air.

'There still remains a significant degree of chaos ahead of September’s crucial roll-out of the expanded childcare entitlement. In the months ahead, I fully intend to use my frontbench experience to advocate for sustainable, progressive and high-quality early years education for all children.'

The Pre-School Learning Alliance has expressed disappointment at Tulip Siddiq’s resignation.

It’s chief executive Neil Leitch said, ‘We are disappointed to hear of Tulip Siddiq’s resignation from Labour’s frontbench. During her time as shadow minister she made a valuable contribution to the early years debate and it is a shame to lose her from the role, although we appreciate why she felt the need to stand down.

‘That said, this is a critical time for the early years sector, and it is essential that there is a strong and effective shadow minister in place to challenge the Government. We hope that the Labour party appoints her replacement promptly.’

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