Corbyn’s new top team actually has people with experience of real-life jobs

Mr Corbyn leaves his home smiling, despite the continuing Labour revolt [Image: PA].

Mr Corbyn leaves his home smiling, despite the continuing Labour revolt [Image: PA].

How refreshing to see a political party’s top team filled with people who have had careers outside of politics!

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was forced to make new appointments to his shadow cabinet after a spate of resignations yesterday (June 26) – and seems to have taken the opportunity to sweep away the ex-spads and former researchers.

For example, Clive Lewis, the new shadow defence secretary, is an Afghan War veteran.

The shadow Northern Ireland secretary, David Anderson, was a coal miner for 25 years.

The shadow education secretary, Pat Glass, worked in education for people with special needs.

Kate Osamor, shadow international development secretary, worked in a GP practice.

Shadow environment, food and rural affairs secretary Rachel Maskell worked in the NHS for 20 years.

Rebecca Long-Bailey, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, worked as a solicitor.

And Andy McDonald, shadow transport secretary, worked as a lawyer.

Loyalists Emily Thornberry and Diane Abbott have been promoted – to shadow foreign secretary and shadow health secretary respectively.

That just leaves Cat Smith, newly appointed to shadow voter engagement and youth affairs – Labour’s youngest MP. She doesn’t have the real-world pedigree of the others, but is a Corbyn loyalist who worked for him before becoming an MP.

She was among the 36 MPs who nominated him for the leadership and the 14 who actually supported his bid, following that nomination, so her appointment is understandable.

Now let’s look at the resignations and dismissal. This can only be a partial list as some straggling backstabbers are still resigning:

Hilary Benn had been a policy researcher for two trade unions.

Heidi Alexander – research for Joan Ruddock.

Gloria de Piero – TV researcher and journalist.

Lilian Greenwood – worked for UNISON.

Lucy Powell – assistant to Beverley Hughes MP.

Kerry McCarthy – volunteer in Labour’s legal department.

Seema Malhotra – advisor for Liam Byrne MP and Ian Austin MP.

Karl Turner – brief careers as a self-employed antiques dealer and barrister.

Chris Bryant – former priest and member of the Conservative Party.

Lord Falconer – barrister and friend of Tony Blair.

In fairness, Ian Murray has worked in a fish and chip shop, set up a pizza delivery service, worked for Royal Blind in pensions management and helped build an online TV station (which failed). Then he started an event management business.

And Vernon Coaker was a teacher.

Point made?

So far we have:- 19 shadow cabinet departures – 16 resignations, one sacking (Hilary Benn), two informal departures (Baroness Smith and Lord Bassam have said they will not serve under Jeremy Corbyn)

– eight Parliamentary Private Secretaries (Colleen Fletcher, DEFRA; Neil Coyle, Commons; Jess Phillips, Education; Karin Smyth, Health; Ruth Smeeth, Northern Ireland & Scotland; Chris Matherson, Justice; Matthew Pennycock, Housing; Stephen Kinnock, Business)

– Nine shadow ministers

In a nutshell, more than half of the shadow cabinet has now quit.

Source: Brexit: Jeremy Corbyn Labour crisis and George Osborne speech – BBC News


Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:


22 thoughts on “Corbyn’s new top team actually has people with experience of real-life jobs

  1. Victor Martin Hunt

    Thank you for the full list of the new shadow cabinet , you saved my digit finger from becoming worn out & over worked.
    Good article I enjoyed your added comments. 10 out of 10

  2. John

    This is probably a stupid question, but with the way things are at the moment (i.e. the number of resignations), is it possible that Corbyn could run out of people to assign to the Shadow Cabinet?

  3. Si

    I’m glad you told me about them, Mike, because I’d never heard of most of them before and, candidly, don’t expect to hear much from them or about them in the future either,.

  4. Malc Cowle

    I, Malc Cowle, was told in front of witnesses in the Railway pub in West Didsbury as long ago as April, by Lucy Powell MPs husband, that “Jeremy Corbyn would not be leader of the Labour Party by October.” When I asked why before October?, I was told that “the coup” would be after the referendum. In other words this particular coup was planned a long time ago and has nothing to do with the referendum campaign. Labour Party members can draw their own conclusions.

  5. Jerry Hogg

    Get real, live in the real world. A turd with brilliant ideas would still come across as a turd in today’s media. Do you think you can change the media? You do, don’t you? Or maybe you don’t care, as you’re just happy to be self satisfied in your moral rectitude. Right message….wrong messenger. We need a better messenger. That’s all, it’s not really debatable, stop being tribal and be practical.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      And, to use your language, a turd in a pretty suit is still a turd, no matter how the media tries to airbrush it. It simply won’t polish up.
      Now look at the Labour quitter. See any brilliance there?
      Neither do I.
      Has any brilliance come forward from the back benches?
      Is Corbyn as bad as you’re suggesting?
      Not from where I’m sitting.
      Oh, and the mass media’s influence is waning. Social media are on the rise.

      1. Mr R Varley

        well said, social media played a massive part in the referendum. Long ago the uneducated masses could be swayed with slogans on posters like “your country needs you”, these days people are a lot more aware of manipulative articles by politically-sponsored media commentators.

    2. Steve Little

      Two highly polished Tory turds led the Brexit campaign so what is your point? The off-shored millionaires’ media runs the country so get used to it?

  6. Paul Kelly

    At last!! What ever happened to “The gallant gentleman the member for” Or the Learned Gentleman the member for? At last we are moving back to the real world Only one gripe WHY DID YOU NOT DO THIS BEFORE THE REFERENDUM Dopey sod! LOL Never mind better late than never! It might be thought that the reappearance of Blair has concentrated your mind! You are right the buggers are still around!!

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I think he didn’t do it before the referendum because, like Abraham Lincoln, he was trying to have a cabinet of all the talents – listening to his critics as well as his friends.
      That didn’t work because THEY didn’t want it to.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      He wanted to be inclusive, in an attempt to prevent any rifts from developing between different sides of the party.
      Unfortunately, it seems these people weren’t interested in that.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      And I, for one, am delighted.
      He – and Debbie Abrahams, new shadow for Work and Pensions – was appointed after the article was written. Both appointments are extremely welcome.

  7. Roy Beiley

    I can not see Jeremy standing down given the promptness with which he has replaced his Shadow Cabinet. What a nice mixture if skills and experience in many of them too. People allegedly voted Brexit because they wanted “change”. Looks as if Jeremy has heard their voices and is offering them a nice big dose of change!

Comments are closed.