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27.06.16

Abbott new shadow health secretary after Heidi Alexander resignation

Diane Abbott, the MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, has been named as the new shadow health secretary by Jeremy Corbyn, after Heidi Alexander resigned from the post yesterday.

Following last week’s EU referendum, Alexander said she no longer believes the Labour leader can win the next general election.

The referendum results have, so far, triggered 24 resignations from the Labour front bench, as reported in NHE’s sister title Public Sector Executive, with senior Labour figures accusing Corby of failing to galvanise Labour supporters to vote to remain.

Alexander announced her resignation early on Sunday morning after Corbyn sacked Hillary Benn, the shadow foreign secretary.

In her resignation letter to Corbyn, Alexander said: “Those who will be hit hardest by the economic shock associated with the vote to leave the EU need a strong opposition, as do those communities who fear rising levels of intolerance, hatred and division.

“More than ever, our country needs an effective opposition which can hold the government to account.”

As shadow health secretary, Alexander was an outspoken critic of the government, leading a cross party coalition to try to resolve the contract dispute with junior doctors and securing a debate on proposals to abolish bursaries for student nurses.

Before being appointed as the shadow health secretary, Abbott was the shadow secretary of state for international development.

(Image c. PA/ PA Wire/ Press Association Images, from 25 April)

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