Jeremy Corbyn unveils new top team after resignations
Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has announced a new cabinet following a wave of resignations in protest at his leadership and amid calls to resign.
He lost 12 of his shadow cabinet on Sunday, another yesterday, and several shadow ministers. Most criticised his European Union (EU) referendum campaign input.
Mr. Corbyn said he regretted the walkouts but pledged to stand in any new leadership election.
Labour MPs are due to discuss a no confidence motion against Mr. Corbyn.
Many of the party’s MPs have been critical of Mr. Corbyn’s leadership since his election in September, when he won a landslide victory despite starting the contest as a rank outsider.
The shadow cabinet shake-up sees Emily Thornberry – who on Sunday gave her backing to Mr. Corbyn – moved from shadow defence secretary to shadow foreign secretary, replacing Hilary Benn who was sacked at the weekend.
Meanwhile, Diane Abbott – an ally of the Labour leader – has been promoted from shadow international development secretary to shadow health secretary, a position vacated by Heidi Alexander’s resignation.
The latest frontbench resignations came yesterday, by shadow Welsh secretary Nia Griffiths, shadow foreign minister Diana Johnson, shadow civil society minister Anna Turley and shadow defence minister Toby Perkins.
Wayne David, the shadow Cabinet Office, Scotland and justice minister, has also quit, along with shadow consumer affairs and science minister, Yvonne Fovargue and shadow environment minister, Alex Cunningham.
Several shadow ministerial aides have also stepped down, including Stephen Kinnock, Neil Coyle and Jess Phillips.
The motion of no confidence in Mr. Corbyn was submitted by Labour MPs Dame Margaret Hodge and Ann Coffey, and a secret ballot could be held on Tuesday.
Mr. Corbyn has said he would fight for his job, warning: “Those who want to change Labour’s leadership will have to stand in a democratic election, in which I will be a candidate.”
He also said he had been elected as leader with “an overwhelming mandate for a different kind of politics”.
“I am not going to betray the trust of those who voted for me – or the millions of supporters across the country who need Labour to represent them,” he added.