Belfast Telegraph

Corbyn sacks shadow Northern Ireland secretary Smith over referendum call

By Rebecca Black

Northern Ireland's shadow secretary dramatically exited his post last night after being sacked by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Owen Smith took to Twitter to reveal what happened, explaining that his party leader had taken exception to his views on Brexit.

It comes after he advocated a public referendum on a final Brexit deal.

Writing in yesterday's Guardian, Mr Smith said the damage a "disorderly and ill-thought-out Brexit could do in Ireland is enormous".

He tweeted: "Just been sacked by @jeremycorbyn for my long held views on the damage #Brexit will do to the Good Friday Agreement & the economy of the entire U.K. Those views are shared by Labour members & supporters and I will continue to speak up for them, and in the interest of our country."

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood responded to Mr Smith's tweet with a message of sympathy.

"Very sorry to hear that we're losing @OwenSmith_MP as Shadow Secretary of State. Owen has a great grasp of the issues affecting us here. He particularly understood the challenges of Brexit and was very supportive of sensible solutions to help us avoid a hard border."

Mr Smith has been replaced as shadow secretary of state by Rochdale MP Tony Lloyd.

Belfast Telegraph

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