Cumbria

Barrow ex-Labour MP John Woodcock appointed extremism envoy

John Woodcock Image copyright John Woodcock
Image caption John Woodcock quit as a Labour MP last year

Former Labour MP John Woodcock has been appointed as special government envoy to tackle violent extremism.

The independent Barrow and Furness MP announced he would not stand in the general election as he and his partner Isabel Hardman were expecting a baby.

His new job would have a "particular focus on tackling far-right violent extremism", the Home Office said.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said Mr Woodcock would bring "a range of skills and experience to the role".

Image copyright John Woodcock
Image caption John Woodcock and Isabel Hardman plan to stay at their home in west Cumbria

A long-time critic of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Mr Woodcock had originally planned to stand as an independent in the general election after quitting Labour in July last year.

He has held the Cumbrian seat since 2010, winning with a majority of 209 in 2017.

Mr Woodcock has been a member of the Defence and Home Affairs Select Committees and is experienced in counter-terrorism legislation, the Home Office said.

Ms Hardman, 33, is assistant editor of The Spectator.

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