Jeremy Corbyn’s yet to officially announce his reshuffle – but that hasn’t stopped his first victim from announcing some news with pure sass.
After more than 30 hours of apparently bitter wrangling, the Labour leader added Europe spokesman Pat McFadden to the casualty list alongside shadow culture secretary Michael Dugher. “I wished him a happy new year”.
The Labour leader last night moved Maria Eagle from the role of shadow defence secretary into the position of shadow culture secretary before welcoming Ms Thornberry into his Shadow Cabinet.
He also insisted Mr Benn and shadow defence minister Maria Eagle had “no questions about their competence to be shadow ministers”. “In Jeremy’s words, even have a little dissent – straight talking, honest politics”.
He said Mr Corbyn told him he was being demoted to the backbench for warning the Labour leader against a “revenge reshuffle” in an article for New Statesman.
To gales of laughter from Tory MPs, and smirks from some opposition MPs, the Prime Minister told Labour: ‘Never mind how many Eagles we end up with, I think you have all worked out you’ve got an albatross at the head of your party’.
Mr Benn, who had earlier returned to the leader’s office for a second round of talks, appeared beside Mr Corbyn as he took a break from the tortuous wrangle to respond to David Cameron’s Commons statement on the EU.
And the party said a planned meeting of the shadow cabinet which had been set for 12.45pm had been cancelled.
He added: “Too many people in the Jewish community felt that Labour wasn’t their party any more and that’s why I think there is an urgent task to rebuild our bridges with the Jewish community”.
In a parting swipe, Dugher said he had chosen to speak out because he was “frustrated and angry” at members of Corbyn’s team for briefing the press against other members of the shadow cabinet in a way that amounted to a “terrible trashing of people’s reputations”.
Gloria De Piero, shadow minister for young people, said: ” In over 20 years of friendship with Michael I have witnessed his tireless commitment and determination to campaign for a Labour government and I know that will continue from the back benches.
Sky’s Darren McCaffrey had documented the Labour leader’s first shadow cabinet reshuffle in September revealing in his blog post awkward and damaging details of the decision-making process.