New Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is today holding private meetings to select his shadow cabinet as deputy leader Tom Watson says he cannot agree with the Labour leader on major policy issues.
Corbyn’s victory represents a move away from the New Labour faction of the party – which means Blairites are leaving the front bench in their droves, elombah.com has observed.
ABOVE PHOTO: The new leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn waves after making his inaugural speech
A number of existing shadow cabinet ministers have said they would not take up their posts again if they were asked to do so, but Chuka Umunna, who held the post of shadow business secretary, has not quit and could represent the party during a debate on anti-strike laws tomorrows, despite not knowing if he has been re-selected.
Within seconds of Jeremy Corbyn’s landslide victory in the Labour leadership election , the first resignations began to come in. The veteran left-winger’s most difficult job in the early days of his leadership will be stop the frontbench exodus turning into deep divisions in the Parliamentary Party, analysts say.
Tom Watson, the new deputy leader, has created divisions between him and Mr Corbyn already. He has made it clear that he does not agree with his plans to scrap Trident and withdraw from Nato. But he has dismissed anyone planning a coup because Mr Corbyn had presided over a “huge political realignment” and that the party must “respect the mandate he has been given by our members”. Meanwhile, Corbyn-supporting Diane Abbott MP has said that Mr Corbyn would not take Britain out of Nato or the EU and that those suggestions were “red herrings”.
Meanwhile the SNP’s deputy leader Stewart Hosie has indicated that his party could form an “alliance” with Labour under Mr Corbyn.
Michael Gove, the justice secretary, and David Cameron have both issued warnings that Jeremy Corbyn poses a risk to national security and the economy, but Mr Gove did concede that there is a real chance that Mr Corbyn could become Prime Minister.
Tory MP David Davis has warned fellow Conservatives that “we have a fight on our hands”, adding: “Lots and lots of personal attacks on Nigel Farage just bounced off because he is seen as an anti-establishment, non-conventional figure and you’ve got to be careful of that.”
Interestingly, Labour’s membership has soared by 15,500 in just the 24 hours after Jeremy Corbyn’s victory, while his team’s social media account ‘Jeremy Corbyn for Labour leader’ has changed its name to ‘Jeremy Corbyn for PM’
Labour Shadow Cabinet resignations or said they won’t be taking jobs in Jeremy Corbyn’s team include :
- Jamie Reed, Labour MP for Copeland, Cumbria
- The Shadow Health minister was first to go – just seconds after Corbyn’s victory
- MP Rachel Reeves. The Shadow Work and Pensions secretary will not be returning from maternity leave
- Ed Miliband. The former Labour leader has ruled out a job in Corbyn’s cabinet
- Tristram Hunt. Labour Party Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent Central and Shadow Secretary of State for Education, Tristram Hunt
- The Shadow Education Secretary said Corbyn deserved the party’s support, but he would not be joining his cabinet
- Yvette Cooper, Labour Party MP for Normanton. Corbyn’s leadership rival said she’d work with Corbyn, but not in his cabinet
- Liz Kendall. Blairite Kendall has always said she wouldn’t accept a job in Corbyn’s cabinet. That position has not changed
- MP Emma Reynolds, who has been lifted up the Labour party ranks to shadow housing minister. The Shadow Communities Secretary tweeted that she would serve her constituents from the backbenches