Labour reshuffle: Jeremy Corbyn urged to sack Hilary Benn as he banishes journalists from standing outside his office

Big names such as Hilary Benn, Maria Eagle and Michael Dugher are expected to be demoted or sacked from the Shadow Cabinet

Matt Dathan
Online political reporter
@matt_dathan,Jon Stone@joncstone
Monday 04 January 2016 17:02
Hilary Benn is expected to be demoted or sacked from the Shadow Cabinet after he defied Jeremy Corbyn over the Syria vote
Hilary Benn is expected to be demoted or sacked from the Shadow Cabinet after he defied Jeremy Corbyn over the Syria vote

Jeremy Corbyn has told 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?”

The incident comes after the Labour leader was warned against conducting a "divisive and petty" reshuffle by shadow cabinet minister Pat McFadden.

The Shadow Cabinet reshuffle comes as:

The Labour leader notably did not deny that he was planning a reshuffle when asked about it on Monday morning.

“I’m not talking about the reshuffle this morning. No words about the reshuffle whatsoever,” he said, thereby confirming that one will take place.

The reshuffle is expected to be announced by Tuesday lunchtime but with Mr Corbyn already holding one-to-one meetings, details of sackings and appointments could emerge at any moment.

Pat McFadden, the shadow Europe minister who effectively serves as Mr Benn's deputy in the shadow foreign team, telling Radio 4's Westminster Hour: "He has talked of an open, pluralist kind of politics but a reshuffle for that reason could end looking more petty and divisive than open and pluralist politics."

Those in danger of being demoted or sacked by Mr Corbyn include big names, such as Mr Benn, Maria Eagle, Michael Dugher and Rosie Winterton, who could all be replaced by Corbynists or MPs who accept his huge mandate from the party’s grassroots.

Here’s who may get a promotion:

Diane Abbott (shadow International Development Secretary): Veteran MP shares Corbyn’s politics, is his parliamentary neighbour and had a relationship with him. She served on the front bench under Ed Miliband but was sacked for “disloyalty”. She sent her son to a private school, which she admitted was “indefensible”.

Diane Abbott, the Shadow International Development Secretary and close ally of Jeremy Corbyn

Richard Burgon (shadow City minister): New MP and Motörhead fan, among Corbyn’s most enthusiastic supporters. Had a difficult start in his portfolio, admitting he could not remember Britain’s budget deficit and was yet to meet anyone from the City of London’s financial industry.

Cat Smith (shadow minister for Women): She says: “I’m a socialist. And in no particular order I’m also a feminist, Christian, environmentalist, trade unionist, republican and proud Northerner who calls a spade and spade.”

Emily Thornberry (shadow Employment minister): Corbyn brought his fellow Islington MP back to the front bench after she resigned over a “snobby” picture she posted of a house bedecked with England flags. Voted for Yvette Cooper as leader.

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