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Jeremy Corbyn appoints raft of new MPs to Labour Shadow Cabinet to replace resigning plotters

The Labour leader is pushing to keep his front bench filled

Jon Stone
Monday 27 June 2016 08:34 BST
Jeremy Corbyn on his way to Westminster
Jeremy Corbyn on his way to Westminster (Getty)

Jeremy Corbyn has appointed ten MPs to his shadow cabinet to replace a raft of MPs who resigned over the weekend and on Monday morning.

The Labour leader unveiled the appointments at 8.30am and said they would take immediate effect.

Emily Thornberry will take over the position of shadow foreign secretary to replace Hilary Benn, whose sacking triggered the rebellion of moderate Labour MPs.

Corbyn says he won't resign

Diane Abbott takes the post of shadow health secretary while Pat Glass is shadow education secretary.

Middlesbrough MP Andy McDonald steps into the shadow transport secretary role while former soldier Clive Lewis becomes shadow defence secretary.

Other appointments include Rebecca Long-Bailey, Kate Osamor, Rachel Maskell, Cat Smith, and Dave Anderson.

Many of the MPs are from the fresh 2015 intake of MPs, who tend to be more supportive of Mr Corbyn than others.

A dozen MPs resigned from Mr Corbyn's top team over the weekend, with more following this morning.

The Labour leader does not appear to have yet filled all positions vacated by the resignations and he may struggled to present a full front bench as many MPs had already ruled themselves out from serving under him.

This morning he was hit by the resignation of shadow foreign minister Diana Johnson, shadow civil society minister Anna Turley and shadow defence minister Toby Perkins all resigned first thing this morning as the party crisis continued.

The new appointments are an attempt to firefight the challege to his leadership by hostile MPs and demonstrate that he still has support within the parliamentary party.

Former shadow education secretary Lucy Powell, who resigned on Sunday, insisted the resignations were not a "planned coup" against Mr Corbyn but instead a reaction to the "seismic" events which have shaken Westminster in recent days - the EU referendum result and David Cameron's resignation.

Ms Powell told BBC Radio 4's Today programme she hoped Mr Corbyn would "not drag this out any longer than necessary".

Mr Corbyn was elected by a landslide during a Labour leadership contest that took place less than a year ago.

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