Openly gay Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle has resigned from Sir Keir Starmer’s frontbench team blaming a campaign by the “right wing media” which he said had unleashed a torrent of online hate and made his position untenable.
As ‘The JC’ reports, in the past month the Brighton Kemptown MP has been forced to apologise twice over Facebook comments in which he suggested Jewish claims to Israel were “not progressive in [their] very nature” and that Zionism was a “dangerous nationalist idea”.
He had also apologised to author JK Rowling last month after he accused her of using her own sexual assault as “justification” for discrimination against trans people.
“I want to apologise unreservedly about the comments,” he said. “JK Rowling’s first disclosures of domestic abuse and sexual assault in her recent article on trans issues were heartfelt and must have been hard to say.”
About Russell-Moyle’s decision to resign, a Labour spokesperson said: “Lloyd spoke to Keir Starmer this afternoon and informed Keir of his decision to step back from front bench duties as shadow minister for the natural environment.
“Keir thanked Lloyd for his hard work on the frontbench and wished him well in his plans for the coming months to focus on housing and youth services.”
On Thursday the MP wrote: “It is with regret I leave the shadow ministry, owing to a campaign by right-wing media my position has become untenable.
“I shall return to backbenches for the time being to support Keir in defending and furthering the manifesto we stood on and to achieve a Labour government.”
In his statement he also wrote the media had “unleashed a torrent of online hate and daily calls of harassment to my office, which has exposed those who work for me to abuse that would not be acceptable in any workplace”.
“It is my job to get political flack, but it is not the job of caseworkers, researchers and assistants to be attacked,” he added.
“It has also led to hounding and stress, from which I need a few weeks to support my team and myself to collectively recover.”
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