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Historian Tristram Hunt, another Corbyn critic, quits as MP

Tristram Hunt, a Labour MP who has been critical of party leader Jeremy Corbyn, has resigned from Parliament to become director of Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

world Updated: Jan 13, 2017 18:52 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Jeremy Corbyn,Labour MP,Tristam Hunt
FILE PHOTO: Prospective Labour leader Tristam Hunt arrives at the annual conference of independent organisations for Labour Party members and trade unionists, London, May 16, 2015. REUTERS/Paul Hackett/File Photo(REUTERS)

Tristram Hunt, historian and Labour MP whose research interests include the British empire and India, announced his resignation from Parliament on Friday to take up the job of director of Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

Hunt, the MP from Stoke-on-Trent, is the second Labour lawmaker critical of party leader Jeremy Corbyn to resign in recent weeks, triggering by-elections. Jamie Reed, the MP from Copeland in Cumbria, resigned last month to take up a job in the nuclear industry.

Former UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage tweeted: "Tristram Hunt's resignation from Stoke will be followed by many others. Labour is doomed."

Mentioning India in his resignation letter to Corbyn, Hunt said his time as MP had been “both deeply rewarding and intensely frustrating”. His constituency is known as the “Brexit capital” because it registered the largest vote in last year’s UK referendum to leave the European Union.

Hunt wrote: “The frustration, of course, came with the inability to address those factors and implement our policy programme following our defeat in 2015 - and, more broadly, about how the Labour Party should respond to the social, cultural and economic forces which have rocked mainstream social democratic and socialist parties from India to Greece to America."

He added: "I am sorry to put you, the party and the people of Stoke-on-Trent through a by-election. I have no desire to rock the boat now and anyone who interprets my decision to leave in that way is just plain wrong."

A spokesman for Corbyn said: "Jeremy would like to thank Tristram Hunt for his service to the people of Stoke-on-Trent Central and to the Labour Party. Jeremy wishes him well in his future pursuits at the V&A."

Welcoming Hunt to his new role, V&A chairman Nicholas Coleridge said: "He has a highly compelling mixture of experience across public life, the arts, history, education and academia, and knows our collections well from his writing and broadcasting.

"In addition, he is an informed and articulate leader and communicator on numerous facets of culture, both historic and contemporary, and I greatly look forward to working with him at the V&A."

First Published: Jan 13, 2017 18:02 IST