Labour's John McDonnell to quit front line politics after bruising election result

14 December 2019, 13:24 | Updated: 14 December 2019, 15:59

John McDonnell will step down as shadow chancellor in the new year
John McDonnell will step down as shadow chancellor in the new year. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

The shadow chancellor has confirmed he will leave his role when Jeremy Corbyn steps down as leader.

John McDonnell tweeted: "To avoid any confusion, in response to doorstep I have confirmed that when the new leader is elected I will leave the Shadow Cabinet.

"Like Jeremy and with his approval I will remain in position until then."

Mr McDonnell, who has been one of the key players in Mr Corbyn's shadow cabinet, said the entire shadow cabinet will go with their leader.

Speaking to Sky News, he said: "“We will all go now. The new leader will come in place and appoint a shadow cabinet. 

"I won’t be part of the shadow cabinet.

“I think we’ll be in a position where we’ll be learning lessons listening to people.”

The party suffered its worst performance at an election since 1935. Mr Corbyn is seen leaving his home this morning
The party suffered its worst performance at an election since 1935. Mr Corbyn is seen leaving his home this morning. Picture: PA

Mr Corbyn has yet to confirm exactly when he will relinquish his position, but there is speculation he will remain as leader into the new year.

This is despite many of his own MPs and former MPs calling for his resignation following the worst election result for the Labour party since 1935.

The party lost a total of 59 seats during the general election - with a vast majority of Labour heartland seats being lost to the Conservative Party for the first time in generations.

Mr McDonnell refuted claims Mr Corbyn was the reason behind the diabolical performance at the polls on Thursday.

The Tories on the other hand secured a majority of 80 seats - their strongest control of the Commons since Margaret Thatcher was in power.

Their dire performance means the search is on for a new leader, and some of the rumoured replacements include those within his shadow cabinet.

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