Has the wrong Hunt resigned? Tristram Hunt quits as Labour MP

Tristram Hunt has resigned as an MP [Image: Skwawkbox].

Did Tristram Hunt see #HuntMustGo on Twitter and draw the wrong conclusion?

Seriously, there are questions to be asked about the second high-profile right-wing Labour resignation in a month.

Is Mr Hunt jumping before he is pushed, as his Stoke Central Constituency Labour Party membership is opposed to him?

Is he trying to embarrass Jeremy Corbyn by offering his constituency to UKIP in the by-election that must now be called?

Is he trying to split Labour’s resources, making it harder for the party to retain the Copeland seat that Jamie Reed quit last month?

Or is this simply an admission that right-wing ‘Red Tory’ Labour has accepted its time is up and the party is returning to what it should be?

Mr Hunt received only 39.3 per cent of the vote in Stoke Central at last year’s general election – and the constituency had the lowest turnout of any in the United Kingdom, meaning only 19 per cent of constituents voted for him:

He was Britain’s least popular MP, and was even hugely unpopular with his constituency party, having been ‘parachuted’ in for the 2010 election after failing to win nominations in Liverpool and London previously. The chair of the constituency party actually stood as an independent candidate in protest against his selection.

His constituency mostly voted for Brexit, but Mr Hunt has loudly claimed that Mr Corbyn was a closet Brexiteer, so that will most likely backfire in his face. All his CLP has to do is nominate a left-wing Eurosceptic and watch the votes roll in:


All of the above makes it hard to believe anybody can seriously think the resignation will make Labour vulnerable to UKIP – but some do:


His resignation letter to CLP members states that he is not trying to cause an upset: “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.”

Do we believe him?

Mr Hunt’s more notable actions include crossing a picket line to deliver a speech (what a way for a member of the Party of the Workers to stand up for the workers).


Mr Hunt says he is leaving politics to take a directorship at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. As an MP, he called for the reintroduction of entrance fees for museums and art galleries, so his future direction seems clear:

If Mr Hunt was hoping for a strong response to his resignation, he’ll be disappointed. Sure, right-wing Labour colleagues were happy to provide endorsements, and Jeremy Corbyn tweeted a few kind-but-lukewarm words:

But this is indicative of the public attitude:

And this:


And it can only be noted with sadness that the arrival of Pizza Express has been suggested as his greatest achievement:

If Mr Hunt’s resignation is an attempt to make Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership seem weak by surrendering Stoke Central to another party, then this would simply demonstrate how corrosive right-wing Labour has become to the party as a whole. The best choice for the constituency will be a left-wing candidate from within the local Labour Party, who understands the people of the area and what they need.

Getting back to this article’s headline, though: Isn’t it time you went as well, Jeremy?

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11 thoughts on “Has the wrong Hunt resigned? Tristram Hunt quits as Labour MP

  1. Neilth

    If I were Hunt I would jump at the Director of the V&A job as well. It sounds like a great job. That aside, Stoke will be a tricky seat to hold especially with such a strong UKIP showing and its determinedly Brexit stance. A strong populist local left wing candidate putting out a positive Labour message is what’s needed imo.

    1. Wanda Lozinska

      I spoke to someone in Sunderland shortly after the referendum. She assured me that she, her friends, family and work colleagues would still all be voting Labour. Brexit was a separate issue to them.

      BTW The recent by-election had more to do with the Labour councillor not turning up to meetings, or so I understand.

  2. Rupert Mitchell (@rupert_rrl)

    He may say he is not trying to rock the boat but it looks to me that he would be very willing to sink it just because he doesn’t agree with his leader so he is no loss to Jeremy Corbyn or to true Labour supporters. We need true Labour MPs not Conservative ones.

  3. Wanda Lozinska

    They’re saying that Jeremy Corbyn is losing control of the Labour party. On the contrary, he’s re-GAINING control of the Labour party as it should be. I hope that Hunt will be replaced by a proper left-winger, which is what’s needed in Stoke on Trent.

  4. Wanda Lozinska

    Seems that he’s seen the light!
    “His resignation letter expressed a general lament that the left, including the centrist left that he represents, have failed to respond to the challenges thrown up by “social, cultural and economic forces which have rocked mainstream social democratic and socialist parties” across the democratic world.”


Comments are closed.