Jeremy Corbyn tells journalists not to stand in the corridor outside his office during reshuffle

The Labour leader asked the press not to loiter

Jon Stone
Monday 04 January 2016 17:41
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn has asked journalists not to stand outside his parliamentary office in the hope of catching the latest shadow cabinet reshuffle rumours.

The Labour leader emerged from his office this afternoon to find journalists waiting outside in the hope of hearing who could be in or out of Labour’s front bench team.

Apparently unimpressed, Mr Corbyn told the press: “Excuse me guys, do you mind not hanging around outside my office door, could you all leave please.”

Party staffers present reportedly joked that the assembled reporters looked like a “picket line”.

Labour MPs are being invited for one-on-one meetings with Mr Corbyn in the leader of the opposition suite on the parliamentary estate.

They will find out whether they are to be given front bench posts in Labour’s shadow cabinet.

Accredited press with parliamentary passes are allowed to roam the corridors of parliament at will and have been attempting to get passing MPs to offer hints.

A series of rumours have circulated in the run-up to the reshuffle, which is reportedly a plan to make sure the front bench is populated by MPs who are signed up with Mr Corbyn’s policy direction.

Critics have dubbed the changes a “revenge reshuffle” and say people who voted differently to Mr Corbyn during a free vote on bombing Syria will be targeted.

Among figures rumoured to be moved out of the top team are shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn, shadow culture secretary Michael Dugher and shadow business secretary Angela Eagle.

Mr Benn has reportedly said he is not worried about the reshufifled and Mr Dugher has said removing dissenters would be “not very ‘new politics’”.

Younger left-wing MPs elected at the 2015 election are expected to be brought on to the front bench for the first time.

Mr Corbyn was elected in a landslide by party members and supporters but lacks equivalent support in Labour’s parliamentary parts, where he only scraped the nomination threshold to get on the ballot paper.

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