Thursday, 20 November 2014
Labour's Emily Thornberry quits over tweet
Labour's Emily Thornberry has resigned from the Labour front bench over a tweet she sent during the Rochester and Strood by-election campaign.
The shadow attorney general previously apologised for the tweet, which showed a terraced house with three England flags, and a white van parked outside.
Alongside the picture, she wrote: "Image from Rochester".
She said she had not meant to cause offence, but Labour backbencher John Mann accused her of "snobbery".
Polls have closed in the by-election, which was triggered when Conservative MP Mark Reckless defected to the UK Independence Party and resigned his seat to seek re-election for UKIP.
BBC political correspondent Ross Hawkins said the problem was that the tweet suggested Ms Thornberry, the MP for Islington South and Finsbury, thought the house and flags were "something to be sneered at".
He added: "It is not the sort of news that you need to have on a polling day, in a by-election, when you're trying to fight back against some pretty tough press."
UKIP leader Nigel Farage said: "What is Labour's Emily Thornberry trying to imply about Rochester and Strood? I suspect she's let Miliband's mask slip."
In a statement released by the Labour Party, Ms Thornberry said: "Earlier today I sent a tweet which has caused offence to some people.
"That was never my intention and I have apologised.
"However I will not let anything distract from Labour's chance to win the coming general election.
"I have therefore tonight told Ed Miliband I will resign from the shadow cabinet.
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