Labour shadow environment secretary Luke Pollard steps back from job

Labour shadow environment secretary Luke Pollard steps back from job
Plymouth MP to temporarily focus on supporting his local consituency following shooting

A Labour MP is temporarily stepping back from his role on Keir Starmer’s front bench following shootings in his local constituency.

Luke Pollard, who represents Plymouth, will take a break from his job as shadow environment secretary in order to “support his community” after the attack.

On August 12 Jake Davison, 22, killed his mother, Maxine Davison, 51, at her home before going outside and shooting dead four others in a 12-minute attack.

In a statement on Monday Mr Pollard said the events in the Keyham area of the city had “shaken our community and have hit us all hard”.

“Over the past fortnight our community, local councillors, the city council, the police and many more have stepped up to help,” he said.

“It’s my job as Keyham’s MP to be focused on the community at this difficult time. We will get through this and will get through it together.”

Sir Keir said he had “agreed a request” for the MP’s portfolio to be taken over by Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner for the next month.

Mr Pollard is expected to return to the role in time for the party’s conference in late September. Mr Zeichner said it was “an honour to be asked to keep my hand on the tiller” as the COP26 climate conference approached.

A Labour spokesman said: “Following the shootings in his Plymouth Sutton and Devonport constituency, Keir Starmer has agreed to a request by Luke Pollard MP to temporarily step back from his role as shadow secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs for the next month to focus on supporting the victims, their families and the wider Plymouth community.”

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