The five resignations were all triggered by Labour's cowardly policy of abstention, itself a u-turn on a u-turn. Having recently come out in support of a second referendum, when it came to it they bottled it. Or did they? There are reports tonight that Corbyn and Starmer have held discussions with two backbenchers - Peter Kyle and Phil Wilson - about a deal they have proposed in which Labour would back May's deal in exchange for a second referendum.
The resigning frontbenchers who rebelled against the abstention decision are as follows.
Yvonne Fovargue (Makerfield - 65% Leave)
Emma Lewell-Buck (South Shields - 62% Leave)
Justin Madders (Ellesemere Port & Neston - 58% Leave)
Stephanie Peacock (Barnsley East - 71% Leave)
Ruth Smeeth (Stoke-on-Trent North - 72% Leave)
All five voted to oppose a second referendum. However, they are not Brexiteers and they have consistently voted to frustrate Brexit in all the other votes this week. Looking at the Leave votes in their constituencies there are no prizes for guessing why they decided a second referendum was a step too far...
I've resigned from Labour's front bench this evening in order to vote against a second referendum. This was a difficult decision but I have a duty to support the will of my constituents. We need to leave, and leave with a deal that works for the Potteries https://t.co/yOtP1jWsmS— Ruth Smeeth MP (@RuthSmeeth) March 14, 2019
It is with deep regret I tonight resigned from Labour’s front bench, because I believe we should respect the result of the 2016 vote to leave the European Union: pic.twitter.com/oPGwMp974U— Stephanie Peacock (@Steph_Peacock) March 14, 2019