Liam Byrne to stand down

By staff

There are widespread reports that Liam Byrne is preparing to step down to join the race for mayor of Birmingham.

While Labour would not confirm the news, the shadow work and pensions secretary was widely tipped to be leaving the shadow Cabinet to take on the race, which would see him go up against fellow Labour MP Gisela Stuart.

Mr Byrne was chief secretary to the Treasury between 2009 and 2010, but he was best known for leaving a note for his successor in which he wrote: "Dear chief secretary, I’m afraid to tell you there's no money left."

Mr Byrne is on the right of the Labour party, having recently tried to bring the opposition's welfare policy more in line with the coalition.