Sarah Champion quits Labour front bench over abuse article

Labour MP Sarah Champion has resigned as shadow women and equalities secretary and apologised for her 'extremely poor choice of words' in a newspaper article about child abuse.

Sarah Champion has resigned as Labour's shadow women and equalities secretary. Picture: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
Sarah Champion has resigned as Labour's shadow women and equalities secretary. Picture: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

The Labour MP said she was concerned that continuing in her shadow cabinet role would distract from the “crucial issues” around child protection.

Ms Champion cited her column for The Sun last Friday as the reason for her apology and resignation.

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In the article she warned Britain had a “problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls”.

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Ms Champion said: “I apologise for the offence caused by the extremely poor choice of words in The Sun article on Friday.

“I am concerned that my continued position in the shadow cabinet would distract from the crucial issues around child protection which I have campaigned on my entire political career.

“It is therefore with regret that I tender my resignation as shadow secretary of state for women and equalities.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “I have accepted Sarah Champion’s resignation and thank her for her work in the shadow cabinet. I look forward to working together in future.”

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A spokeswoman for The Sun said: “Sarah Champion’s column, as it appeared on Friday, was approved by her team and her adviser twice contacted us thereafter to say she was ‘thrilled’ with the piece and it ‘looked great’.

“Indeed, her only objection after the article appeared was her belief that her picture byline looked unflattering. Her office submitted five new pictures for further use.”