Keir Starmer finally has a shadow cabinet that looks like a plausible alternative government

Priti Patel will not survive Yvette Cooper’s assault, predicts John Rentoul

Tuesday 30 November 2021 16:56
<p>Yvette Cooper is the new shadow home secretary </p>

Yvette Cooper is the new shadow home secretary

The puzzle was always why Keir Starmer left Yvette Cooper on the back benches in the first place. I suspect it was partly because he took too much advice from Ed Miliband, whose partnership with Ed Balls, Cooper’s husband, was a difficult one. But Miliband’s influence is on the wane, as suggested by his loss of the shadow-business-secretary half of his previous role, leaving him shadowing Alok Sharma on climate change.

Cooper’s exile meant that Rachel Reeves took the shadow chancellor post that Cooper wanted, but shadow home secretary right now happens to be a huge opportunity. Priti Patel is in trouble over Channel crossings. This month’s Conservative Home survey of party members puts her net satisfaction rating at zero, down from plus 25 (itself a low score, compared with Liz Truss on plus 82).

Meanwhile, something remarkable has happened to wider public opinion. An Ipsos Mori poll yesterday put Labour in the lead as the party with the right policies for managing immigration, which I don’t think I have ever seen before. What is even more surprising is that Labour doesn’t have any policies for managing immigration, so the poll is a measure of public disillusion with the government rather than a positive endorsement of the opposition.

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