Boris Johnson news – live: Keir Starmer launches Labour reshuffle as Angela Rayner gives Tory sleaze speech

Follow for live updates

Celine Wadhera,Lamiat Sabin
Monday 29 November 2021 14:07
Angela Rayner claims she ‘doesn’t know details’ of Labour reshuffle

Sir Keir Starmer has launched a reshuffle of MPs on Labour’s frontbench, his spokesperson has confirmed.

His deputy Angela Rayner is claiming, through her spokesperson, that Sir Keir began a shake-up of the shadow cabinet without consulting her.

It comes as frontbencher Cat Smith announced her resignation after taking a call from Sir Keir regarding his reshuffle plans this morning.

The MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood, shadow minister for democracy, said Sir Keir had invited her to carry on in her role but that she decided to step down to focus on her constituency.

In her resignation letter, she warned Sir Keir that the ongoing exclusion of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn from the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) is causing “damage” to ordinary members.

Mr Corbyn, the socialist MP for Islington North, who was succeeded by Sir Keir as leader last year, had the whip withdrawn by his successor amid a row over anti-semitism allegations within the party.


Downing Street: Iran’s nuclear programme is ‘undermining international security’

Downing Street said on Monday that Iran’s nuclear programme was “undermining international security” and warned that if a new agreement could not be struck in Vienna – where new talks began this morning – Iran would be responsible for the collapse of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The prime minister’s spokesman said: “The challenge is that Iran’s nuclear programme has never been more advanced than it is today and that’s undermining international security.

“We are returning to Vienna to swiftly conclude the deal that is on the table, which we believe is fair and comprehensive.

“The US has offered to lift sanctions that are inconsistent with the JCPOA in exchange for Iran returning to full compliance with its nuclear commitments.

“If a deal is not swiftly concluded and Iran continues its nuclear escalation then they will be responsible for the collapse of the nuclear deal and a missed opportunity.”

Celine Wadhera29 November 2021 14:07

UK and Israel join forces to prevent a nuclear Iran

The UK and Israel signed a memorandum of understanding this morning, agreeing to work towards stronger collaboration on cyber security, defence and trade.

Notably, the two countries will work to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear capabilities.

Speaking at a press conference following the signing, foreign secretary Liz Truss said: “On the subject of Iran, we are absolutely determined to prevent Iran from securing a nuclear weapon and all options are on the table.

“Talks are starting in Vienna today. We want Iran to agree to the original JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, known otherwise as the Iran Nuclear deal from 2015) – that is very important.

“And we want those talks to work. But if they don’t, all options are on the table.”

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid hold a press conference

Celine Wadhera29 November 2021 13:48

Moment that Angela Rayner was asked about shadow cabinet shuffle

Here’s the exact moment when deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner was asked about Sir Keir Starmer’s cabinet reshuffle, following her speech on standards on public life at the Institute for Government.

Celine Wadhera29 November 2021 13:29

Rayner reveals she didn’t know reshuffle details in Q&A

Angela Rayner said she did not know any details about Labour’s reshuffle when she took questions at the end of her speech on standards in public life.

Sir Keir Starmer’s deputy Ms Rayner gave a speech to the Institute for Government (IfG) where she said that Labour would “act to stamp out the corruption that Boris Johnson and his Government has polluted our democracy with.”

She added that Labour would introduce an independent watchdog able to launch investigations and demand the sacking of ministers under plans to prevent corruption and protect taxpayers’ money.

Former ministers would be banned from lobbying, consultancy or any paid work relating to their old roles for at least five years under the plans if Labour got into government.

During the Q&A session after her speech, she said she did not “know the details of any reshuffle” but that “we need some consistency in how we’re approaching things as an opposition”.

“I’ve been concentrating on the job that I’m doing,” she added.

She said had not been consulted over the reshuffle.

A spokesperson for Ms Rayner later said that she had a short conversation with Sir Keir between her morning media interviews and her IfG event and that she was aware there may be a reshuffle.

Lamiat Sabin29 November 2021 13:10

Continued exclusion of Corbyn ‘damaging’ Labour – Cat Smith

In a resignation letter, Labour frontbencher Cat Smith warned Sir Keir Starmer about the “damage” Labour was suffering because former leader Jeremy Corbyn is not being re-admitted to the party.

Her letter, that she posted on Twitter, says: “You will be aware that we had a meeting scheduled for later this week, during which I wanted to raise the issue of, and my concerns about, Jeremy not being readmitted to the Parliamentary Labour Party after he was readmitted into our party membership following due process.

“This position is utterly unsustainable and it is important that you truly understand how much damage this is causing in Constituency Labour Parties and amongst ordinary members, a number of whom are no longer campaigning.”

Lamiat Sabin29 November 2021 12:50

Rayner ‘not consulted’ on reshuffle, spokesperson says

Angela Rayner is claiming that Sir Keir Starmer has launched a shake-up of the Labour shadow cabinet without consulting her.

The claim from the deputy leader’s spokesperson came as frontbencher Cat Smith announced her resignation after taking a call from Sir Keir regarding his reshuffle plans this morning.

The MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood, shadow minister for democracy, said Sir Keir had invited her to carry on in her role but that she decided to step down to focus on her constituency.

More here from Adam Forrest and Ashley Cowburn

Keir Starmer launches Labour reshuffle as frontbencher Cat Smith quits

Deputy leader Angela Rayner ‘wasn’t consulted’ on reshuffle

Lamiat Sabin29 November 2021 12:40

Vigil for 27 migrants who died attempting to reach the UK at Folkestone beach

A vigil has been held for the 27 migrants who died attempting to cross the English Channel last week.

Mourners gathered on Monday morning, placing flowers and signs at Folkestone Beach.

A message written in the sand said: “Safe routes now” while a sign read: “Nobody should die like this. We welcome all refugees. We are rich, safe and lucky – we can share”.

One speaker said: “We will try to honour your memory by creating a better future. You are in our hearts.”

Celine Wadhera29 November 2021 12:19

Starmer planning to reshuffle shadow cabinet before Christmas

Sir Keir Starmer is planning to reshuffle his shadow cabinet to demote poor performer, The Times and Express have reported.

Those at risk of losing their ministerial roles include shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds, shadow education secretary Kate Green, and shadow culture secretary Jo Stevens.

Mr Thomas-Symonds has recently been accused of failing to land blows against the home secretary over Channel crossings and security issues.

Meanwhile, Yvette Cooper could be promoted and return to the frontbench.

A party source told The Times that a reshuffle was to take place ahead of Christmas.

Celine Wadhera29 November 2021 12:00

UK and Israel to work ‘day and night’ to prevent a nuclear Iran

In other news, British and Israeli foreign ministers have issued a fresh commitment to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. The two countries are preparing to reach a final agreement on a 10-year plan to strengthen ties.

Foreign secretary Liz Truss and Israel’s foreign affairs minister Yair Lapid are set to sign a memorandum of understanding in London on Monday, aimed at strengthening collaboration around cybersecurity, defence and trade.

Writing in the Telegraph, the ministers call the decade-long plan a “major step forward”.

“Israel and the UK are the closest of friends and today we are deepening that partnership to become even closer.

“This pact will spur technological breakthroughs which have the potential to change the world, create high-quality jobs in both our countries and provide tools to our security forces,” they wrote.

The two ministers added that the countries would work “day and night” to stop Iran from “ever becoming a nuclear power”.

The renewed commitment comes as indirect talks to revive Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal – meant to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons – begin in Vienna.

Celine Wadhera29 November 2021 11:45

Rayner: Standards are currently governed by an ‘alphabet soup’ of policies

Deputy Labour Leader Angela Rayner said that current standards on public life were insufficient and vulnerable to loopholes.

Speaking at the Institute for Government she said: “The current system is broken. The Committee on Standards on Public Life … found that the systems that are supposed to uphold the rules are not working well.

“Our standards are currently governed by an alphabet soup of different committees, advisers, rules and codes of conduct.

“Ministers and former ministers can hide behind the loopholes, the disjointed process and the lack of enforcement.

“And why is this the case? Because the rock starts at the top.

“Boris Johnson has lived his entire life bending and breaking the rules. He’s been investigated for breaking the rules in every office he has ever been elected to.”

Celine Wadhera29 November 2021 11:24

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments