Labour reshuffle: Sir Keir Starmer's reshuffle purges left with right in complete control as Lisa Nandy suffers demotion
The Labour leader retook the party’s governing body, gave his office more control over selections, and has now cut the last segments of the soft left from his shadow cabinet in a reshuffle. None are a more obvious casualty than Lisa Nandy, who dropped from shadow foreign secretary to shadow levelling up secretary, and now the international development brief.
In demoting the former Labour leadership candidate, Sir Keir is removing a prominent member of the soft left, and one who challenged him both publicly and privately. While Ms Nandy put out a statement stressing things were OK and promising to be a team player, it’s understood neither she nor Sir Keir are enthusiastic about the changes.
Labour keeps one of its best media performers in the tent, but with less power, less profile and less reason to be outspoken.
Then there’s Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, the former shadow secretary for mental health, who refused a role elsewhere, so Sir Keir simply abolished hers. On the left of her party and deeply outspoken on a range of issues, her removal eliminates the risk of any views not in line with a party in election mode.
As for Ed Miliband, he is the last great survivor on the left of the party, retained as shadow secretary for climate change and net zero because, as one source put it, he’s too associated with his brief and untouchable. This does not mean Sir Keir wouldn’t have liked to make a change.
Angela Rayner stayed as deputy leader and, much like Mr Miliband, retains too much power to be forced out entirely.
Then there were the incomings, with those frozen out under former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and deemed too associated with his downfall to come in immediately now welcomed back into the fold.
Hilary Benn became the new shadow secretary of state for Northern Ireland, and Liz Kendall onto the work and pensions brief.
There are now five special advisers from Tony Blair's era in the shadow cabinet. The left are out, and Labour are preparing to govern.
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