Labour whip Grahame Morris endorses Jeremy Corbyn's plan for a reshuffle of 'mutineers' on his frontbench

MPs critical of Jeremy Corbyn are expected to be moved from his top team

Jon Stone
Tuesday 29 December 2015 16:00
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Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

A senior Labour MP has appeared to endorse a call for Jeremy Corbyn to sack so-called “mutineers” from his shadow cabinet.

Grahame Morris shared a comment piece by a writer at the Independent with the headline: “This is what Jeremy Corbyn should do in 2016 – starting with a reshuffle that gets rid of mutineers”.

Mr Morris, who is a party whip, tweeted a link to the piece and its headline but added no additional comment.

The endorsement of a top-team change comes after reports that Mr Corbyn is planning a New Year shadow cabinet reshuffle.

The move would reportedly see MPs critical of Mr Corbyn’s programme and leadership moved from his frontbench, to be replaced by MPs who support the party leader.

A number of shadow cabinet ministers have been privately briefing critical comments about the Labour leader to journalists and regular Monday evening meetings of the parliamentary Labour party have become a media spectacle with MPs hostile to the leadership texting unflattering accounts of proceedings to the media.

The Labour leader’s floated reshuffle is understood to possibly include Hilary Benn, the shadow foreign secretary, who led opposition to Mr Corbyn’s stance on Syria.

Sky News reports an anonymous Labour frontbencher as saying there would be a mass walk-out of ministers if Mr Benn were replaced, however. An anonymous Labour frontbencher told the Daily Telegraph that Mr Corbyn had “ruined Christmas” by briefing the reshuffle over the festive period.

The Twitter exchange, which has now been deleted

Mr Benn has reportedly said he is not worried about being moved.

Mr Morris was criticised by centrist Labour MP Ian Austin, who said of his tweet: “Very funny! Grahame Morris, who voted against [the] whip repeatedly, wants people sacked after a free vote! Come on Grahame, name the ‘mutineers’!”

Mr Austin was referring to the vote on bombing Syria, where MPs were allowed by the leadership to vote as they liked.

Mr Corbyn himself was also a serial rebel before being elected leader, but never served on the front bench – where MPs are expected to toe the party line.

Mr Morris deleted his tweet several hours after he posted it and has made no further comment on the subject.

Mr Corbyn was elected as Labour leader by a landslide of members, supporters, and affiliated trade unionists.

He however faces significant opposition from MPs on the centre and right wings of the Labour party, who supported other candidates for the leadership.

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