Labour’s reshuffle shambles: Angela Rayner’s speech is overshadowed by surprise cull as Keir Starmer promotes Yvette Cooper, David Lammy… and even Emily Thornberry
- A Labour Party reshuffle last night saw leader Sir Keir Starmer promote centrists
- Yvette Cooper, Lisa Nandy and Wes Streeting are now on the political frontline
- The changes saw the departure of the Shadow Cabinet’s last remaining Corbynite Cat Smith
Yvette Cooper made a dramatic return to the political frontline last night after Sir Keir Starmer used a wide-ranging reshuffle to promote centrists.
At the end of a chaotic day, the Labour leader appointed Miss Cooper as Shadow Home Secretary to take the fight to Priti Patel.
Lisa Nandy was also promoted and will shadow Michael Gove in his levelling up and housing department.
Sir Keir Starmer started his reshuffle yesterday morning, sparking a row with allies of his deputy Angela Rayner, who accused him of seeking to overshadow a speech she was giving
Her old job of Shadow Foreign Secretary went to David Lammy, while the prominent position of health spokesman was given to rising star Wes Streeting.
The changes – much wider than expected – will be seen as a move by Sir Keir to consolidate the power of centrists at the top of the Labour Party.
The reshuffle saw the departure of the last remaining Corbynite in the Shadow Cabinet.
Yvette Cooper made a dramatic return to the political frontline last night and Lisa Nandy was also promoted
Unpopular with Corbynites for campaigning against the anti-Semitism in their ranks, Wes Streeting was handed the prominent role of health spokesman
Cat Smith left with a broadside at Sir Keir, criticising him for refusing to let Jeremy Corbyn back into the parliamentary party.
In another change, former leader Ed Miliband’s job was reduced in size. Formerly responsible for business and climate change, he will now only take on the climate change brief.
Sir Keir started his reshuffle yesterday morning, sparking a row with allies of his deputy Angela Rayner, who accused him of seeking to overshadow a speech she was giving.
The reshuffle saw the departure of the last remaining Corbynite in the Shadow Cabinet, Cat Smith (pictured right)
STARMER’S WINNERS AND LOSERS
YVETTE COOPER: The former Cabinet minister – who lost the fight to be leader against Jeremy Corbyn in 2015 – makes a dramatic return to the political frontline.
LISA NANDY: Labour says her move to a major role opposing Michael Gove’s Levelling Up agenda is the biggest promotion of the reshuffle.
WES STREETING: Unpopular with Corbynites for campaigning against the anti-Semitism in their ranks, he is handed the prominent role of health spokesman.
BRIDGET PHILLIPSON: She gets the shadow education role job, a promotion from her previous role as a shadow Treasury minister.
CAT SMITH: The Shadow Cabinet’s last Corbynite was relieved of her role as shadow Cabinet Office minister.
ED MILIBAND: The former Labour leader used to shadow both the business and the climate change briefs. Now he is only in charge of climate change.
KATE GREEN: She was brought into the shadow education role role after the departure of hard-Left Rebecca Long-Bailey. But she has not prospered, leading to her sacking yesterday.
LORD FALCONER: The former Lord Chancellor is out as shadow attorney general. It comes weeks after he embarrassed the leadership over his second job.
The Labour leader said last night: ‘With this reshuffle, we are a smaller, more focused Shadow Cabinet that mirrors the shape of the Government we are shadowing.
‘We must hold the Conservative Government to account on behalf of the public and demonstrate we are the right choice to form the next government.
‘I’m delighted that Lisa Nandy will take on the vital role of shadowing Michael Gove and leading on the levelling up agenda.
‘After 11 years of Conservative mismanagement of our economy, delivering prosperity to all regions and nations in the UK will be a defining mission of the next Labour government.’
Former Labour leader Ed Miliband used to shadow both the business and the climate change briefs. Now he is only in charge of climate change
He added he was also delighted Mr Miliband would take the lead on holding the Government to account for its ‘failure to take action on climate change… the most important issue facing this country over the next decade’.
Sir Keir said: ‘I look forward to working with the new team to show we are once again a serious party of government.’
Miss Cooper replaces Nick Thomas-Symonds, who becomes international trade spokesman. He takes over from Emily Thornberry, who becomes shadow attorney general.
Kate Green was sacked yesterday and Lord Falconer is now out as shadow attorney general
Bridget Phillipson got the shadow education role job, a promotion from her previous role as a shadow Treasury minister
Yesterday morning, allies of Mrs Rayner questioned why Sir Keir decided to carry out the changes just as she was making a speech accusing the Conservatives of ‘corruption’.
Mrs Rayner said after her speech she had not been aware of ‘the timing of’ the reshuffle.
She added: ‘Six months ago I said again we need some consistency in how we’re approaching things as an opposition.’
The saga prompted fresh fears over the relationship between Sir Keir and his deputy.
The pair were locked in a stand-off during Sir Keir’s last reshuffle in May, when Mrs Rayner felt she was being scapegoated for the party’s disastrous Hartlepool by-election result.