Labour’s top lawyer quits citing ‘increasingly negative path’ under Jeremy Corbyn

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By Thomas Connelly on

Shadow attorney general Catherine McKinnell has resigned — Karl Turner replaces her


Labour’s top lawyer has quit over concerns that the party is venturing down an “increasingly negative path” under Jeremy Corbyn.

Catherine McKinnell MP — who was until this morning the Labour party’s attorney general — suggested the decision had been made with a “heavy heart”.

Despite only taking up the role back in September 2015, McKinnell, who is a former employment solicitor at Newcastle outfit Dickinson Dees (now Bond Dickinson), expressed concerns over recent “internal conflict”.

Successor to Lord Bach, McKinnell said she hopes to channel her energy more on “making positive changes for my constituents.”

McKinnell — a Northumbria Law School GDL graduate who completed her undergraduate degree at Edinburgh University in 2000 — is now the fourth MP to quit the front bench since the recent reshuffle.

With the MP for Newcastle Upon-Tyne north handing in her resignation letter this morning, rumours began circulating immediately as to the identify of her replacement.

Update 3:20pm — In the last few minutes it has been confirmed that McKinnell has been replaced by Karl Turner, the MP for Hull East. Turner completed his bar training in 2005 and worked for Max Gold Solicitors from 2005 to 2009 before joining Wilberforce Chambers in Hull. A year later he was elected as an MP.

Before Turner’s appointment, MP for Hammersmith Andy Slaughter was one name doing the rounds on social media as a possible replacement. A former barrister specialising in personal injury and housing law, he joined Labour’s front bench as shadow justice minister in 2010.

Meanwhile, MP for Holborn and St Pancras Keir Starmer QC had been another hotly tipped contender. The former head of the CPS is currently a barrister at London’s trendy Doughty Street Chambers.

Read McKinnell’s resignation letter in full: