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Deputy leader of Welsh Labour resigns as Keir Starmer’s PPS amid UK party infighting

11 May 2021 2 minute read
Carolyn Harris. Picture by Richard Townshend (CC BY 3.0).

Welsh Labour’s deputy leader, Carolyn Harris, has resigned as Keir Starmer’s parliamentary private secretary.

According to the Times, she has given up the PPS role alongside Labour’s leader amid allegations she spread rumours about the deputy leader of the UK party, Angela Rayner.

In a statement released by Starmer’s office, Swansea East MP Carolyn Harris said: “It has been the proudest moment of my career to co-chair the campaign that saw Keir Starmer elected as Labour leader, and to serve as his PPS [parliamentary private secretary] for the past year.

“Stepping back from this role is the right thing at this moment, coming as it does after some trying personal times and an ever-increasing workload as Deputy Leader of Welsh Labour. I have enjoyed every minute, and look forward to supporting Keir the best way I can in the months ahead.”

Asked by the Times about the claim she had been spreading rumours regarding Angela Rayner, Harris immediately blocked the reporter on WhatsApp, according to the newspaper.

The Times had earlier reported that there was concern within the UK Labour party that Angela Rayner could topple Keir Starmer as leader following disappointing results in the English local elections.

It is understood that Keir Starmer wanted to sack her from her role as party chair, but after negotiations eventually appointed her to a role as shadow chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, shadowing Michael Gove.

Keir Starmer also appointed Rachel Reeves as his shadow chancellor, demoting Anneliese Dodds to party chairwoman, the role previously held by Angela Rayner.

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