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Shadow pensions minister Alex Cunningham resigns

Labour MP Alex Cunningham has stepped down as shadow pensions minster his office has confirmed.

The MP for Stockton North has been shadow pensions minister since October 2016 and has been an advocate of more transparency on investment charges.

Cunningham’s office did not provide specific details about why or when he decided to step down, but provided a statement referencing Britain’s vote to leave the EU in June 2016 and the effect this will have on people in Cunningham’s seat.

It says: “In recent months, I have spoken with representatives from many companies in my constituency and beyond and received lobbying from many of them through other means.  They are as one about the importance of the Government delivering the kind of access and regulatory regime they need to continue their businesses effectively in Europe.

Shadow pensions minister outlines his priorities

“They also spoke of the threat to investment and the future of many of the jobs they provide in my constituency and across Teesside. I voted as I did as I believed I was leaving the door open for any deal with the EU to possibly include the membership of the Customs Union – something I felt was in the best interests of industry and jobs in my Stockton North constituency.

“After my constituents voted overwhelmingly to leave the EU I saw it as my responsibility to support them in that decision and ensure I worked for the best possible outcome for them in terms of jobs and rights.  That I will continue to do.”

In an interview with Money Marketing in November last year Cunningham said he wanted to make sure the public guidance services like The Pensions Advisory Service were properly funded as they were merged into a single body.

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Comments

There are 6 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Andy Robertson-Fox 5th January 2018 at 3:24 pm

    Hopefully he will maintain his support for the campaign to unfreeze the State Retirement Pension of some 550,000 who have retired abroad and to bring them parity with, not only those retired in the UK, but also the 640,000 others who are also abroad but do receive the annual uprate through index linking.

  2. I must be a bit dim, but I found this statement as clear as mud. On the one hand it appears that he actually supports Remain, but not wishing to upset his rank and file constituents (as opposed to those constituents who actually provide the jobs for the rank and file)he appears to be a Brexiteer.

    Rather sums up the Labour Party’s lamentable stance on Brexit.

    Courage of your convictions Mr Cunningham?

    • He doesn’t believe leaving the EU is in the country’s best interests, but the majority of his constituents voted for it, so he is supporting it.

      The majority of his constituents might want the death penalty restored. Would he back that?

      Why bother electing members to parliament if they don’t vote for what they believe to be the right thing to do?

      Maybe we should just govern the country by online polls, and save the cost of running Westminster.

  3. PS

    However I guess he is resigning from the post as a protest at his party’s dithering on the topic. If so there is a certain courage of his convictions. If this is the case if only others would emulate his principled stance!

  4. This is a bit slow.

    He actually resigned on 20 December after he backed Chris Leslie’s amendment to the EU withdrawal Bill to stay in the customs union. (That motion was defeated 320-114).

  5. Given that the post of actual Pensions Minister is merely titular and the holder of it has no real influence over any aspect of Treasury policy, that of shadow Pensions Minister is even less meaningful.

    Has he campaigned on or even raised any of the really important pensions issues, such as the LTA, the patently unjust tapered annual input allowance, the stupidity of allowing people to cash out their retirement benefits, restoration of Contributions Protection Insurance (WoP) and the inclusion of (at least an element of) life insurance as part of a PP? Not a peep.

    Will we miss the Rt. Hon. Mr Cunningham? I hardly think so. Another equally hollow mannequin will shortly take his place.

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