A LABOUR MP has asked to step back from his front bench duties after receiving online hate and abuse.

Party leader Keir Starmer named Lloyd Russell-Moyle as a member of the opposition's environment team shortly after being announced as leader in April.

But the Brighton Kemptown MP today said he wanted to step back from these duties as, "owing to a campaign by right-wing media my position has become untenable".

He also said that the abuse had extended to his colleagues in his office, with team members being subjected to "daily calls of harassment".

He will remain an MP.

Mr Russell-Moyle posted a statement on social media to inform constituents of his decision.

The Argus:

He said: "This afternoon I spoke to Keir and asked to step back from the front bench duties as Minister for Air Quality and the Natural Environment but remain a Labour and Co-operative MP for Brighton Kemptown and Peacehaven.

"It is with regret that I leave the shadow ministry, but owing to a campaign by the right-wing media my position has become untenable.

"This has unleashed a torrent of online hate and daily calls of harassment to my office, which has exposed those who work for me to abuse that would not be acceptable in any workplace.

The Argus:

"It is my job to get political flack, but it is not the job of the caseworkers, researchers and assistants to be attacked.

"It has also led to hounding and stress, from which I need a few weeks to support my team to collectively recover.

"I am here to represent all my constituents and I am grateful to all those who voted for me, and to the people who believe Labour can make our country a fair, better, happier place for all of us.

The Argus:

"I shall continue to work hard for you."

He said he was proud of his work in Parliament over the last three years, including tackling issues such as the UK's arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Mr Russell-Moyle said: "I shall return to backbenches for the time being to support Keir in defending and furthering the manifesto we stood on and to achieve a Labour Government."