19 thoughts on “Returning to the backbenches”

  1. Dear Catherine,
    You are wrong and have taken leave of your senses with all due respect. We are faceing a Tory goverment who are very right wing and are also un democratic the are who you should be fighting I am sick to death of Tories and as i am now 67 doubt that i will ever see a Labour goverment now.

  2. I’m not sure how unspecified concerns about the “direction” of the party constitutes setting out reasons…

  3. Is it not massively hypocritical to say you’re leaving the front bench because of negativity and in fighting? Aren’t you just adding to it?

    If members of your party want the party to go in a particular direction, isn’t it your job to provide that and not cause trouble for troubles sake? It just seems from an external viewpoint that you and the other three are acting like bratty school children who haven’t got their way, and just like children you lack the ability to see things from a wider perspective.

    One further question: what kind of politcal party do you hope to have if you go against the wishes of your party members? There are two paths here: follow Corbyn and see it through and try your best, or go against him and lose all of your support. Which is better?

  4. It must have been hard to give up your shadow cabinet post but I’m sure you did the right thing. The Tories need an opposition that can genuinely challenge them at a general election and argue the issues intelligently. Well done.

  5. Dear Catherine, I support your decision to resign from the shadow cabinet.Like yourself i very much welcomed the appointment of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party but it now appears that his appointment has been hijacked by a cartel of mps who can best be described as the London Mafia.I do hope that you continue as our mp and would like to wish you well for the future Best Wishes Stephen O’hara.

    1. I fully support the comment of Stephen O’Hara. Catherine is my MP and having lived in this constituency for over 40 years she is by far the best and outstanding MP we have had. Politically I’m not a member of any party but I suspect I’m well to the so-called left of both Catherine and Mr Corbyn. Let’s put Mr Corbyn on a stage with Michael Foot or Anthony (Wedgwood, yes I go back that far) Benn. He is a lightweight. Yes he has firmly held convictions. But I’m not convinced of his depth of feeling for what has been called the working class. He seems effete and a southern, not so bright, softee to me. It all seems like an intellectual excecise rather than a true understanding of the history of the English, British if your like, working people. I cannot empathise with him. Catherine Mckinnell, well she is decent, honest, has firmly held moral values and ethical standards. Rare qualities in politicians who are notorious as opportunists.

  6. Politics is all about beliefs. Arguably and more importantly, it is also about principles both to have and to uphold. Good wishes for the future Catherine and continue with the very important work of representing your constituents. Your time will come again I’m sure. XX

  7. Dear Catherine,

    If you are worried about the direction the Labour party are going, is it not your responsibility to stay in the shadow cabinet and try to influence policy from a privileged position? Jeremy Corbyn has been given a huge mandate from Labour Party members and as such has legitimacy in taking the party in the direction he chooses. It is what party members voted for. Your resignation allows the shadow government to continue their agenda with even less plurality of views and will accelerate the speed in which the Labour Party is able to move in the direction you do not like.

    Kind regards,


  8. Dear Catherine- while your characterisation of negativity around the Labour Party is unfortunately accurate I just don’t think resigning a week after reshuffle is helpful to anyone. The junior doctors are on strike tomorrow. The Tories are quietly allowed to do this because the PLP can’t get in line long enough to launch some sustained broadsides at the government. There is a chance under Jeremy Corbyn to broach a serious alternative to our market-dependent economy of zero hours contracts and all. Please reconsider your resignation. Doing so would provide a power of good.
    A Labour member

  9. The Labour Party has been “hijacked by a cartel of MPs who can best be described as the London Mafia”. You real need to back this up with some substance if you are going to make accusations like this. As a London Labour Party member I do not recognise this description of the party under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. It sounds like a Murdoch tabloid headline. If Ms. McKinnell is not happy with being part of a progressive party then that’s her decision but the majority of the membership are crying out for the kind of changes Jeremy Corbyn represents.

  10. Why did you really go Catherine? Are you at heart really a part of the PLP? – Or did you really do it for “Family reasons?”

    Who really asked you to resign? Who was it that put pressure on you from the right? Did they promise you something tasty in the future they think they represent? I was hoping you’d be above all that and thinking about your responsibilities instead.

    I always had you pegged as a fighter for the Labour party’s values but you let a lot of people down who thought you may be fighting for those values in the Shadow Cabinet.

    Extreme and damaging are the words that come to mind but thank you for your weekend of “Thinking it over..” I’m sure it has been a soul searching experience for you, but has inevitably and unfortunately been so more damaging to the party as a whole..


    1. Very dissapointed as an ordinary voter and labour supporter at your decision. If you really believe in a better future for the North East (Tynside, Wearside and Teesside) it needs a big change. Have a bit of faith in this area we built the world!

  11. Dear Ms. McKinnell,

    I appreciate that your differences with Mr. Corbyn may be irreconcilable and so resolvable only by resignation. That is an honourable course of action and not the problem.

    The problem is that, together with colleagues such as Mr. Doughty, you have resigned in a way calculated to cause maximum damage to Mr. Corbyn and the Labour Party. You could, for example, have spoken to him of your concerns and resigned quietly before or during the reshuffle. Not the best of outcomes but certainly better.

    I think you and your parliamentary colleagues are setting standards for political disloyalty to which even the most fanatical of Tory Eurosceptics will only aspire. Quite shameful.


    Christopher Sterling

  12. Ignore that guy above. If you have thought about it and come to a decision based on your principles then that’s absolutely fine. I’m sure you’ll be carrying on representing your constituents in Newcastle . Keep your chin up.

  13. Sorry, I don’t agree. Mr corbyn was voted in with a huge mandate. As my labour mp I expect you to not only represent me but support the party. As for resigning to concentrate on your constituents, you’re doing us as much harm by leaving the shadow cabinet as anybody in the current labour party. Not sure I can vote for you anymore.

  14. I have resigned a longstanding Lib Dem membership and joined Labour since Mr Corbyn’s election as I consider him to be the only real hope for my children’s prosperity. I believe that his apparent integrity and belief in democracy are fundamentaly necessary now with the Tories lacking both and rapidly dismantling society. Hostility even from the BBC and the Guardian surely show that the posh boys see him as a significant threat. I wish you personal success but regret that your timing may be another morsel in the media’s feeding frenzy.

  15. I rejoined the Labour Party for the leadership election, though I have always supported the Centre Left. I am becoming more and more despondent that Labour will never again wield the power it had in the past. There are several Labour MPs who I feel would have made a brilliant leader, but I am afraid that Jeremy Corbin will never lead us back into power. He is a thoroughly likeable character who says many of the things we all want to hear. However, he really is not of the intellectual calibre to lead a party to victory and unfortunately continues to surround himself with some very dubious characters. How he can expect Shadow cabinet ministers to support him in his unrealistic policies is beyond me. His amazing history of consistently voting against his own party colleagues in the past (over 500 times or so I believe!) does not fill me full of confidence in his ability to pull the party together. It was a nice idea to have a leader who was ‘different’ – but unfortunately it is not working too well, is it? It may take a little time but all those enthusiastic supporters he has garnered will surely fall by the wayside when they finally realise how thoroughly unelectable he is. I realise that these comments will upset many of his fervent supporters – I wonder if I will be hounded out of the party for airing these views – which will upset me as I strongly support my own hardworking and intelligent Labour MP.

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