Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has dismissed suggestions that he has lost control of the party after the resignation of Tristram Hunt.
Jamie Reed left the party to pursue a career in the private sector a few weeks ago. Both were involved in the failed coup to unseat Jeremy Corbyn last summer.
In his resignation letter he did not criticise the Labour leader. Hunt a noted historian simply said the chance to lead the Victoria and Albert museum was too good to turn down. He wrote, “I have no desire to rock the boat now and anyone who interprets my decision to leave in that way is just plain wrong.”
Jeremy Corbyn said he was not secretly pleased Hunt had gone. He said, “No, I don’t want anyone to resign, I don’t want to lose MPs.
“I’m not expecting any other MPs to resign. In most parliaments there are a number of by-elections, so if they come, they come.
“I haven’t lost control of the party. The party isn’t out of control. We are a very large party with a growing membership, we have a vibrant policy-making process. We have a party which is very active.”
He added, “Tristram Hunt called me this morning and told me he was very honoured to be offered the position of director of the Victoria and Albert Museum. We chatted about that, we chatted about the work they are already doing in Dundee, and the way that he is planning to expand the museum and maintain free entry to it.
“The last thing I wrote in my letter to him was ‘I look forward to visiting the V&A to meet you as director and have a look around’.”
Tristram Hunt was parachuted into his constituency by Peter Mandelson. He won the 2015 election and the seat is considered a safe Labour seat.