MP Healey quits ahead of reshuffle

SOUTH Yorkshire MP John Healey has resigned as Labour’s shadow health secretary, after speculation he would be demoted in leader Ed Miliband’s reshuffle.

The Wentworth and Dearne MP stepped down from the shadow cabinet after Mr Miliband secured power to choose his own team.

Previously Labour members had voted on who should be in the shadow cabinet, with the leader then choosing which post they have.

Mr Healey is a favourite with Labour MPs, coming second in the shadow cabinet elections last year.

The MP told The Star it was a ‘big decision’ but he was resigning to focus on his family and his constituents.

And he insisted the resignation had ‘absolutely nothing to do with the reshuffle’.

He said: “I spoke to Ed last week, well before he had started thinking about the reshuffle.

“Our son has just started the sixth form and will be going to university soon. I would like to give more time to him while he is still at home, and give more to my constituents.”

Mr Healey – who served as housing minister in the last government – insisted he would continue to serve as an MP for Wentworth and Dearne, and planned to seek re-election in 2015.

Doncaster MP and former housing minister Caroline Flint has returned to the shadow front bench as shadow energy and climate change secretary in a reshuffle by Labour leader Ed Miliband.

Don Valley MP Flint served as housing minister and then minister for Europe in Gordon Brown’s government before resigning from the cabinet in June 2009.