Politics

Corbyn to cull ministerial team if he gains power after general election

Jeremy Corbyn will be forced to cull his ministerial team should he win a majority in the forthcoming general election after handing out too many promotions.

It comes as the Labour leader’s team is mulling a shake-up of the frontbench with plans to sack Shadow Defence Secretary Nia Griffith and Margaret Greenwood from her Shadow Work and Pensions role.

The Labour leader refused to say during his campaign launch on Thursday whether key members of his shadow cabinet would be handed jobs under a Labour government.

As it stands, Mr Corbyn will have to either trim his top team or make some demotions as he is already three or four ministers over his allotted amount of 21 Cabinet ministers, plus the Prime Minister and the Chancellor.

Cabinet reshuffle

The Labour leader has promoted key figures to his top team, such as Laura Pidcock for whom he has created a new role as Shadow Employment Rights Secretary in a bid to show how seriously he takes the issue.

It means he will have to overhaul his team should he come to power after 12 December.

A Shadow Cabinet source told i: “Because of these promotions he will have to demote some ministers to those who attend cabinet or he will have to cull them completely.

“It means he’ll have to make leaders of the Commons and Lords, maybe the devolved nations, lesser ranks to make room. Or there needs to be a cull.”

Laura Pidcock

The leader’s office has been looking to sack Ms Greenwood as Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary for some time due to what they deem as “underperformance” in the role.

Shadow Defence Secretary Nia Griffith was also being lined up for the axe as her views on defence jar with those of the leader.

A bid to swap Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry and Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott earlier this year had to be abandoned after both resisted the move.

Not naming Cabinet team

It was telling that Mr Corbyn declined to endorse his Shadow Cabinet team as future Cabinet members should he win the election.

When asked whether he would name an unchanged team when appointing his Cabinet should he enter Number 10, he replied: “It really would not be appropriate to decide on the appointments and makeup of the next Labour government on this platform today.”

The comment could be a warning to Ms Thornberry and deputy leader Tom Watson, who have both been highly critical of Mr Corbyn’s Brexit stance and his approach to stamping out antisemitism within the party.

The door could be opened to the likes of Ed Miliband, however, who might be given a route back onto the Labour frontbench having stayed loyal to Mr Corbyn since 2015.

Source: iNews

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