Labour MP Luke Pollard to temporarily step back from shadow cabinet role following shootings in his Plymouth constituency

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Labour MP Luke Pollard is temporarily stepping back from his role as shadow environment secretary following the shootings in his Plymouth constituency last month in order to support the community.

Announcing the shadow cabinet change, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said Daniel Zeichner will head the department while Mr Pollard is away.

Mr Pollard, who has represented Plymouth Sutton and Devonport since 2017, was promoted to shadow environment secretary in January 2020.

"Today I've agreed a request from Luke Pollard to take a step back from his shadow environment role for the next month so he can support his community after the shootings in Keyham," Sir Keir posted on social media.

"He will return for #Lab21. While away, Daniel Zeichner will look after Labour's Defra work."

Jake Davison, 22, first killed his mother, Maxine Davison, 51, at her home in Plymouth before going outside and shooting dead four others in a 12-minute attack on the evening of 12 August. He then turned the gun on himself.

A three-year-old girl was among the casualties of the attack which deeply shocked the local community.

Mr Pollard said the events in the Keyham area of Plymouth had "shaken our community and have hit us all hard".

"Over the past fortnight our community, local councillors, the city council, the police and many more have stepped up to help,2 he said in a post on social media.

"It's my job as Keyham's MP to be focused on the community at this difficult time. We will get through this and will get through it together."

Sir Keir said Mr Pollard will return for Labour's conference in late September.

A Labour spokesman said: "Following the shootings in his Plymouth Sutton and Devonport constituency, Keir Starmer has agreed to a request by Luke Pollard MP to temporarily step back from his role as shadow secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs for the next month to focus on supporting the victims, their families and the wider Plymouth community."

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