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Burnham and Benn take Shadow Cabinet jobs

13 September 2015

9:57 PM

13 September 2015

9:57 PM

In the past few minutes, more details of Jeremy Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet team have been announced. Andy Burnham is the new Shadow Home Secretary, and is replaced by Heidi Alexander in the Shadow Health Secretary. This is intriguing, as Burnham has quite different views on immigration to Corbyn.

Hilary Benn is the Shadow Foreign Secretary: a boost for Corbyn given Europe will be such a big issue in the next few years.


Lord Falconer is the Shadow Justice Secretary and Shadow Lord Chancellor, while Yvette Cooper will chair a taskforce on refugees: something she will bring a great deal of passion and expertise to.

What these announcements do show is a serious attempt from Corbyn to be open and welcoming to those from different wings of the party. Lord Falconer is most closely associated with the Blairites, though he worked on Burnham’s campaign. And that Burnham and Benn are prepared to stay in the tent shows that senior Labourites are divided on how to deal with the election of someone they’d rather not have as leader. Cooper has been rather canny in opting for an active role that is neither on the frontbench nor the backbench.

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