Peter Hain quits as shadow Welsh secretary to campaign for Severn barrage project
MP Peter Hain has stepped down as shadow Welsh secretary to “explore other challenges” including the Severn barrage project.
In a letter to Opposition leader Ed Miliband, he said he intended to stay on as an MP but said that the “thumping victory” at local elections in Wales over which he presided this month provided a suitable moment to step aside.
Mr Hain said in the letter that he had been a long-term supporter of the Severn barrage project and wanted to ensure it came to fruition but also wanted to “contribute much more on wider policy issues”, notably African development.
Mr Hain was raised in South Africa and first came to prominence as a hardline anti-apartheid campaigner before entering mainstream politics.
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His move – which he said he alerted Mr Miliband to before Christmas – will add to speculation that the Labour leader is poised to make a wider reshuffle of his top team.
Mr Hain said he would not rule out a return to the front bench should he be asked back in future.
Neath MP tweeted this morning to say the Severn barrage campaign "is biggest contribution" he can make at the moment.