Yet another Shadow Defra Minister bites the dust
3rd Feb 2017 / By Alistair Driver
The Labour Party continues to get through Shadow Defra Secretaries at an alarming rate.
Yet another one has gone, as York MP Rachael Maskell quit this week, having decided to vote against the triggering of Article 50, 'in line with the strong remain vote from my constituents last June'.
She only replaced Bristol MP and vegan anti-meat campaigner Kerry McCarthy in June 2016, following the Brexit vote.
Ms McCarthy, who also resigned in a Brexit protest, had not been in the role long herself, replacing Maria Eagle in September 2015.
Does it matter if Labour Shadow Ministers come and go before they get their feet under the table and have a chance to develop a full working understanding of their wide-ranging brief?
You could argue that, as the party struggles to make an impact nationally, the Shadow Defra is devalued anyway.
But, as the Government slowly starts to formulate the most important set of policies for the farming sector in, well, living memory and beyond, we need a strong opposition to probe, ask the right questions and hold the Government to account more than ever before.
The latest incumbent in the Shadow Defra is still to be announced. We wait with interest.