#Starmer’s #reshuffle #DISASTER

Not communicating: Angela Rayner (left) and Keir Starmer (right… far right) aren’t looking at each other in the image, and it seems there’s not much communication going on elsewhere either.

Keir Starmer has shot himself in the foot – yet again – with a surprise reshuffle timed to upset his deputy, and that gave his critics a chance to pillory him in public.

Angela Rayner was giving a speech at the Institute for Government think tank on lobbying, following up on the Owen Paterson second jobs scandal, when it became clear that Starmer had started reshuffling his top team.

She had known a reshuffle was coming but had not been given any details, meaning she had no details when asked about it.

Instead, she said: “I do know that what we have to do is show that we are a government in waiting and that we have to be the next government because we can’t carry on like this,” she said.  We need some consistency in how we’re approaching things as an opposition.”

That could be interpreted as criticism of Starmer’s behaviour.

Of course, as Deputy Leader, elected by the party membership, Rayner is the only senior Labour representative Starmer can’t sack. He should be ensuring that she is always fully-informed but instead he appears to be playing silly games.

At the other end of the spectrum, Starmer did have the power to sack Cat Smith – but she didn’t give him the chance. Instead, she turned down his request for her to remain Shadow Minister for Young People and Democracy, in protest at his mistreatment of Jeremy Corbyn.

“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,” she wrote. “Even more time at home”? Was this a veiled claim to have been excluded?

On Mr Corbyn, she said Starmer’s position was “utterly unsustainable” and told him: “It is important that you truly understand how much damage this is causing in Constituency Labour Parties and amongst ordinary members, a number of whom are no longer campaigning.”

Mr Corbyn isn’t the only reason people are deserting Starmer. A recent appearance on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show was featured on Channel 4’s Gogglebox – and you can see support for the Labour leader draining away as the segment progressed:

His reshuffle decisions won’t win back any doubters either. Headline appointment was Yvette Cooper, replacing Nick Thomas-Symonds as Shadow Home Secretary.

David Lammy replaced Lisa Nandy as Shadow Foreign Secretary, and Wes Streeting replaced Jonathan Ashworth as Shadow Health Secretary.

Is that about right?

Still, what could we expect from the Labour leader who, we were reminded over the weekend, has put homophobia up with anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism in general and sexism as his most clearly-supported policies?

Flailing, Starmer tried to regain some credibility by swearing on Tory supporter Nick Robinson’s show, Political Thinking.

Trouble is, he was talking about honesty – and we all know that he is thoroughly dishonest. Below please find just one (mild) example of Starmer’s fibbing.

What a mess.

Starmer can’t even properly shaft political opponents in his own party. He’ll never get the better of the Tories.

What a missed opportunity that he didn’t reshuffle himself out of the Shadow Cabinet.

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