Rayner fights back! Starmers reshuffle bid dubbed plain offensive in Labour civil war

Angela Rayner says ‘I don't know the details of any reshuffle’

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Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is reportedly planning a reshuffle of the Shadow Cabinet, with poor performers at risk of being demoted. News of the reported planning came while Angela Rayner made a keynote speech laying out how the party would change lobbying rules to tackle corruption in politics.

Ms Rayner said corruption is “rife” in the Tory Government.

She noted that people have lost trust in the Government because others are punished for falling foul of their work’s Code of Conduct but MPs aren’t.

Within her keynote address, Ms Rayner said Labour will lay out how they will restore trust.

She said that the current ministerial code has grey areas which make it easier for MPs to get off the hook.

She added that under Labour leadership, the grey areas would be eradicated as the party would work to strengthen the code.

She also noted that there were concentrated efforts to get Labour back into power.

Sienna Rodgers, the editor of the LabourList, tweeted to her 33,900 followers: “I’m hearing that Labour’s shadow cabinet reshuffle has started”, while Ms Rayner delivered the speech.”

A friend of the Deputy Labour leader hit back at the news of a reshuffle and said it was “plain offensive” that Ms Rayner had been left in the dark about the plans.

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Ms Rodgers tweeted: “Friend of Angela Rayner says: Trying to sack Angela and make her the scapegoat for Hartlepool was stupid.

“But doing a reshuffle when she’s literally on her feet giving a speech attacking the Tories for being corrupt is just plain offensive.”

The comment from Ms Rayner’s friend notes the fallout of the Hartlepool by-election, in which Sir Kier sacked Angela as party chair before reinstating her to other posts.

The party suffered a worse-than-expected defeat in the area earlier this year, which saw the Conservatives take the seat with a majority of almost 7,000.

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Following her speech, Ms Rayner took questions from her audience at an Institute for Government (IfG) event, which instead of focusing on the theme of Tory ‘sleaze’ as per her address, queried her involvement in the reshuffle.

She replied: “I don’t know the details of any reshuffle.”

She added that this was because she was “concentrating on the job at hand”.

Following the event, she said in an interview with Times Radio that she had not been consulted on the reshuffle.

She said there was no “focus on that at the moment”, adding that “I reckon that Keir would tell me first, yeah” when asked if she would have expected to hear about the plans from the leader.

However, in addition to the response from Ms Rayner’s friend, Sienna Rodgers also reported that she had been told Shadow Cabinet members are “being called now and being sacked”.

Reports that a reorganisation of the opposition’s front benches was under way were confirmed by Cat Smith, who noted her step away from her role on Twitter on Monday afternoon.

She resigned as Shadow Minister for Voter Engagement, a position she has held since 2016, despite being offered to stay.

In a tweet featuring her resignation, the MP wrote: “It’s been an honour to serve on the Labour front bench since 2015 but I’m looking forward to spending even more time at home here in Lancashire and standing up for my constituents.”

Nick Thomas-Symonds, the shadow home secretary, Kate Green, the shadow education secretary, and Jo Stevens, the shadow culture secretary, are all reportedly at risk of demotion.

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