|Keir Starmer and Cat Smith in happier times|
Labour's Cat Smith quit Starmer's front bench on Monday, after being told she was being kept on in her role as shadow secretary of state for young people and democracy. Smith thanked Starmer for the offer, but said she wanted to concentrate on her constituency work in Lancaster and Fleetwood. Smith has a small majority of 2,380 and has watched neighbouring red wall seats fall to the Conservatives one by one. Her priority is clearly to remain on the Westminster gravy train.
Smith also used her resignation to lash out at Starmer over the ongoing treatment of Jeremy Corbyn. The party whip remains suspended and he is expected to stand as an independent at the next election if the whip is not restored. The situation is 'utterly unsustainable' writes Smith in her resignation letter (see below).
Smith has not been replaced by Starmer, suggesting that her post has now been abolished. The role had been created by Jeremy Corbyn in 2015 and held by Smith since 2016.