Shadow Chancellor Alan Johnson has resigned from government for personal reasons.
Johnson had only been in the job for three and a half months, but the former postman explained that he had “found it difficult” to cope with issues at home whilst shadow chancellor.
The Hull MP West MP will keep his job as an MP for the region but has stepped down from his more senior role and will be replaced by former Shadow Home Secretary, Ed Balls. Ball’s wife, Yvette Cooper will take over his former post.
Johnson has struggled of late and has made some very public mistakes, including appearing to not know the national insurance rate paid by employers when quizzed about it.
Johnson released a statement saying, “”I have decided to resign from the shadow cabinet for personal reasons to do with my family.
“I have found it difficult to cope with these personal issues in my private life whilst carrying out an important frontbench role.
“I am grateful to Ed Miliband for giving me the opportunity to serve as shadow chancellor of the exchequer. He is proving to be a formidable leader of the Labour Party and has shown me nothing but support and kindness.
“My time in Parliament will now be dedicated to serving my constituents and supporting the Labour Party. I will make no further comment about this matter.”
Ed Miliband has come out fighting on Johnson’s behalf saying he accepted the resignation “with great regret”, before adding: “As shadow chancellor and a politician who held five cabinet positions, Alan showed real leadership on issues that mattered to families across our country, warning of the dangers posed by the government’s gamble on growth and jobs, promoting educational opportunity and delivering neighbourhood policing.
“Ed Balls is an outstanding economist and is hugely qualified to take our economic message to the country.”