Emily Thornberry becomes shadow defence secretary and Pat McFadden was sacked as shadow Europe minister in the Labour frontbench reshuffle [Image: Richard Saker for the Guardian].


It seems Hilary Been will be to Jeremy Corbyn what Iain Duncan Smith once was to David Cameron – a man he cannot remove.

The difference is that Mr Benn seems to have kept his job partly because 10 other shadow cabinet members said they would quit if he didn’t, whereas the odious Work and Pensions Secretary simply refused to move when Cameron asked him, back in 2012.

Whether Benn will become a figurehead for shadow cabinet rebellions seems beside the point, however; perhaps Mr Corbyn feels more comfortable knowing where his opposition is likely to be?

The reshuffle addresses an issue which provided ammunition for anti-Corbyn Labour MPs back in September; now there are more women than men in the shadow cabinet (17 against 14).

And it seems that Labour has said the reshuffle does not contradict the new politics of allowing debate, although open dissent against the leader will not be tolerated in future.

We’ll see how that works out for them in the future – and for all of us.

Jeremy Corbyn has replaced his pro-Trident shadow defence secretary Maria Eagle with his ally Emily Thornberry in a reshuffle designed to create a more unified shadow cabinet.

The Labour leader moved Eagle to shadow culture secretary, mostly because she disagreed with his position opposing the Trident nuclear weapons system.

However, Corbyn decided to retain his shadow foreign secretary, Hilary Benn, after coming to an agreement on their future working.

The deal means there will be no repetition of their disagreement about the vote on bombing Syria, during which Corbyn argued against military action and Benn gave a speech in favour. All future positions on foreign policy will be directed by Corbyn, a Labour source said.

As well as replacing Eagle, Corbyn sacked his shadow culture secretary Michael Dugher and shadow Europe minister Pat McFadden for what Labour sources said were displays of “incompetence and disloyalty”.

McFadden is being replaced by Pat Glass, who chairs Labour’s pro-EU group. Emma Lewell-Buck gets a promotion to shadow devolution minister.

In a statement, McFadden said he had originally accepted the post because the EU issue was of “crucial importance” with an in/out referendum looming.

Source: Labour reshuffle: Thornberry replaces Eagle for defence, McFadden sacked and Benn stays | Politics | The Guardian

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