After Theresa May’s underwhelming and chaotic Cabinet reshuffle on Monday and Tuesday, Jeremy Corbyn has followed suit and carried out a minor reshuffle of his front bench. With loyal Corbynista Chris Williamson resigning from the shadow cabinet on Thursday following his call to double council tax for large properties, there was speculation that the Leader’s Office were keen to distance themselves from firebrand MPs as they get serious about winning power.
However, the list of new appointments suggests that this is not the case. Laura Pidcock has been appointed as shadow minister for Labour. Since entering Parliament in the snap election, the MP for North West Durham has found herself in the news for saying she will not befriend Tories, missing a Universal Credit debate to go on holiday and claiming that she helps more people than Winston Churchill. It’s safe to say that her promotion will play well to the base – even if it proves unpopular elsewhere.
The most striking appointment is Clive Lewis’s return to the shadow cabinet as shadow minister for the treasury. The former shadow business secretary – who has been touted as a future leader – resigned in February over Labour’s Brexit position as he wanted to vote against the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill. He was one of 52 MPs to defy Labour Party orders to back the bill in a Parliament vote. Since then, he has found himself in the news for telling an attendee at Momentum conference to ‘get on your knees, b-tch’. His return to the shadow cabinet suggests that neither side believe there will be any Brexit differences of opinion in the forseeable position – and will fuel speculation that Labour’s Brexit position is softening.
The full list of appointments:
Shadow Minister for Pensions – Jack Dromey MP
Shadow Minister for Labour – Laura Pidcock MP
Shadow Minister for Planning – Roberta Blackman-Woods MP
Shadow Minister for Social Care and Mental Health – Paula Sherriff MP
Shadow Minister for Buses – Matt Rodda MP
Shadow Minister for the Treasury – Clive Lewis MP
Shadow Minister for the Treasury – Lyn Brown MP
Shadow Minister for Fire – Karen Lee MP
Shadow Minister for International Trade – Judith Cummins MP
Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office – Chris Matheson MP
Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office – Laura Smith MP
Shadow Minister for International Development – Dan Carden MP
Shadow Minister for International Development – Preet Gill MP