We asked in December whether Alan Johnson would stay long in the shadow chancellor role. The answer is not long: he’s resigning in 15 minutes time. This is apparently because of family reasons rather than the fact that he has been caught short on economic policy several times in recent weeks. Stay posted.
UPDATE: Ed Balls will be shadow chancellor, the job he has coveted. His wife Yvette Cooper replaces him as shadow home affairs secretary. Douglas Alexander will quit his DWP post to become shadow foreign secretary, which was Cooper’s role. Here is the Johnson statement:
Statement by Alan Johnson MP
“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 front bench 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”.