Jeremy Corbyn ally Chris Williamson quits shadow cabinet after council tax comments

Williamson has said he wants to remain a voice of the party's members

Chris Williamson was one of Corbyn's most loyal supporters

Thursday, January 11, 2018

A key ally of Jeremy Corbyn has quit Labour's frontbench after making controversial comments on policy.

Chris Williamson, the shadow fire minister, suggested doubling council tax on better-off homes in England.

It's understood it was a mutual decision, with the Derby North MP saying he still wants to "be a voice for the party's members".

Williamson was one of Corbyn's most loyal supporters, regularly speaking out in defence of the Labour leader.

Over Christmas he was accused of encouraging the deselection of moderate MPs with a satirical message, filmed as a parody of the Queen's Speech.

In that message, Williamson said the party's mission was now "to develop policy and selecting candidates who support the progressive agenda that won Jeremy two Labour leadership victories.

"Remember, the Parliamentary Labour Party's job is to articulate and deliver the policies that values that matter to you, the members."

Labour MPs, he said, must "use 2018 to embrace the vibrancy of this movement and welcome greater democracy to this party."