Shadow Cabinet reshuffle kicks off with Sir Keir Starmer sacking Labour's weak links ahead of general election showdown | The Sun

SIR Keir Starmer kicked off a major shake-up of his top team this morning – firing dud shadow ministers in anticipation of a brutal general election show down next year.

Blairite beasts including Liz Kendall and Pat McFadden were rewarded with big promotions, while weak links such as Lucy Powell and Lisa Nandy faced savage demotions.

Sir Keir said: “Britain deserves a government that wakes up every morning absolutely determined to take on the challenges we face and to improve the lives of hard-working people. Today shows that's what the British people will get with Labour.

“I'm really pleased that having put in the hard yards to change the Labour Party, we now have such a strong team on the pitch that is ready to deliver the change our country desperately needs."

The Labour chief's first major move was shifting Deputy Labour Leader Angela Rayner to replace Lisa Nandy as Shadow Levelling Up Secretary, leaving behind her Shadow Cabinet Office brief.

Ms Nandy took up the job of Shadow International Development Secretary – a huge step down.

And Steve Reed was demoted from Justice to the Environment brief – he was replaced by Shabana Mahmood.

Ms Mahmood previously signed a letter demanding a flight deporting foreign criminals – including rapists and murderers – be halted.


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Deputy Tory Chairman Lee Anderson slammed the move as "very scary".

He said: "Remember the letter signed dozens of Labour MPs that helped stop a flight full of rapists, murderers, child sex offenders and violent men going to Jamaica? I thought you may.

"You might also recall that one of the men who was on that flight went on to murder in the UK.

"Well it looks like one of the ringleaders has now been made Shadow Justice Secretary. This is very scary."

Liz Kendall was promoted to Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, while her predecessor Jonathan Ashworth moved to Shadow Paymaster General in the Cabinet Office.

And Thangam Debbonaire was promoted to Shadow Culture, Media and Sports Secretary.

There was a big promotion for Darren Jones, seen as a rising star in the party, from chairing the Commons Business Committee to serving as a Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

Former Shadow Mental Health Minister Dr Rosena Allin-Khan was kicked out of the shadow ministerial team.

In a stinging letter to her party leader, she said: "You made clear that you do not see a space for a mental health portfolio in a Labour cabinet, which is why I told you many weeks ago I wouldn't be able to continue in this role."

Reshuffle moves so far


Angela Rayner – Shadow Levelling Up and Shadow Deputy PM

Lisa Nandy – Shadow Cabinet Minister for International Development

Steve Reed – Shadow Environment Secretary

Shabana Mahmood – Shadow Justice Secretary

Liz Kendall – Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary

Jonathan Ashworth – Shadow Paymaster General in the Cabinet Office

Thangam Debbonaire – Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

Peter Kyle – Shadow Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology

Nick Thomas-Symonds – Shadow Minister without Portfolio in the Cabinet Office

Ellie Reeves – Deputy National Campaign Coordinator

Lucy Powell – Shadow Leader of the Commons

Pat McFadden – Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and National Campaign Coordinator


Jim McMahon – Shadow Transport Secretary

Dr Rosena Allin-Khan – Shadow Mental Health


Darren Jones – Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury

Hilary Benn – Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

The reshuffle came as Sir Keir beefs up his top team ahead of next year's general election and party conference in early October.

Shadow ministers are the closest they've been to seizing power in decades.

Labour chiefs are desperate to put their best talent forward, taking nothing for granted as the party races ahead of the Tories in the polls.

But while there is palpable excitement among party rank and file, Sir Keir has told his top team there is zero room for complacency.

MPs considered to be rebellious, a reputational risk or simply not up to the jobs were booted to the lowest rungs of the Commons.

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Sir Keir tightened his grip on the party by keeping allies close.

And in a show of confidence in his own leadership, shadow ministers previously considered a risk to demote were sacked.

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