Joel Fitzgibbon quits Labor frontbench
Opposition agriculture and resources spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon will quit Labor's shadow cabinet.
The member for the NSW federal seat of Hunter confirmed the decision on Tuesday morning after a caucus meeting.
Mr Fitzgibbon's move to the backbench comes after division over climate change and energy policies.
"This morning I went to see my mate, Anthony Albanese, and informed him that I was stepping down from the shadow cabinet, effective immediately," Mr Fitzgibbon said.
"Anthony Albanese and Richard Marles generously paid tribute to my contribution, although, I reminded them that I'm not going anywhere."
Big loss for Australia. Joel was an important voice in Labor for workers. Leftward shift of the modern Labor party continues— Matthew Canavan (@mattjcan) November 9, 2020
He said after the significant 2019 election loss he decided to stick around for 18 months as the party rebuilt to make it "electorally competitive".
"I've been trying to put labour back into the Labor Party," Mr Fitzgibbon said.
"Trying to take the Labor Party back to its traditional roots, back to the Labor Party I knew when I first became a member 36 years ago.
"I have been focusing on blue-collar workers, whether they be working in coalmining, coal generation, oil and gas, our manufacturing sectors, electricians and other tradespersons.
"The people who have traditionally voted for us in very large number, but somehow haven't been voting for us in large number over the course of possibly the last decade."
More to come
Originally published as Joel Fitzgibbon quits Labor frontbench