ANGELA Rayner was left humiliated today after denying Sir Keir Starmer would conduct a reshuffle just two hours before the Labour leader started moving frontbenchers.
The deputy leader told a radio interview that the party was more focussed on big issues and holding the government’s feet to the fire rather than discussing “internal jobs”.
Sir Keir Starmer did not appear to tell Angela Rayner of the reshuffle this morning[/caption]
Angela Rayner was left humiliated today after being seemingly cut out of reshuffle plans[/caption]
But at the same time the Labour leader was beginning to shift around his top team for the second time this year – blindsiding his number 2.
Sir Keir’s first attempt last May went off half cocked with a doomed attempt to demote Ms Rayner ended up with the deputy leader getting a slew of promotions after she refused to be side-lined.
And today’s effort appears to be equally calamitous.
Ahead of a big speech about sleaze, Ms Rayner told Times Radio just after 8 o’clock this morning: “No, I’m not aware of any plans for a reshuffle. I haven’t been consulted, so I don’t think there’s any, you know, focus on that at the moment…
“We’ve been holding the government to account and that’s what we’re focusing on at the moment, not internal what job you’ve got.”
Embarrassingly she added: “I reckon that Keir would tell me first yeah.”
But behind the scenes Sir Keir had spent the morning calling Shadow Cabinet ministers about their future jobs.
At 11.30am, Ms Rayner again told reporters “I’ve been concentrating on the job that I’m doing” and again said she was not aware of a reshuffle.
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But her spokesman later clarified that Sir Keir had called Ms Rayner to inform her of a reshuffle “in the future” but not that it was today, or any of the details.
However moments later Labour frontbencher Cat Smith announced that she was quitting the Shadow Cabinet – and revealed Sir Keir was already conducting a reshuffle.
Ms Smith was a key member of Ms Rayner’s team posing questions on how informed the Labour deputy really was on the planned changes.
And Sir Keir’s spokesman said shortly after: confirmed that the reshuffle of Labour’s frontbench was “underway”.
A senior Tory source hit back: “Starmer’s reshuffle is already a shambles. If he can’t run his own frontbench properly, how can he pretend he could run the country?”
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