Anneliese Dodds sacked as Shadow Chancellor in Labour reshuffle - changes in full
Anneliese Dodds was sacked as Shadow Chancellor tonight as Labour leader Keir Starmer took the knife to his top team following disastrous election results.
Ms Dodds, who faced months of grumblings about her performance, has been demoted to become party chairwoman - the job Angela Rayner had filled until recently - and chair of Labour's policy review.
Shadow Cabinet Office Minister Rachel Reeves will fill the Shadow Chancellor job.
Shadow Education Secretary Kate Green had been among those whose positions were said to be under threat.
But party boss Mr Starmer was forced to scale back his planned reshuffle as some frontbenchers staged a revolt - faced with taking lesser posts or quitting altogether to avoid the humiliation.
He only began ringing frontbenchers to confirm they were moving posts or keeping their roles at 9pm on Sunday night.
A day of drama and confusion unfolded after he sacked his deputy Angela Rayner from the crucial role of party chairwoman late on Saturday – only for another member of the frontbench to claim the next morning she had in fact been promoted.
Scroll down to read the reshuffle in full
After 24 hours of furious internal wranglings Ms Rayner will now be given a phalanx of jobs, including as a new Shadow Secretary for the Future of Work.
Nick Brown, a veteran of Blair and Brown governments, was ousted as Chief Whip and replaced by his deputy Sir Alan Campbell.
A spokesman for Mr Brown insisted it was on good terms, saying: "Nick thinks it’s a reasonable time for Nick to move on. He and Keir have parted on good terms, with mutual respect. He wishes Keir and the new Chief Whip every success."
Shadow Housing Secretary Thangam Debbonaire, who was tipped for the chop, has been moved aside to become Shadow Leader of the Commons. She replaces Valerie Vaz, who had been one of the few surviving ministers from Corbyn's shadow cabinet.
Lucy Powell, who served under Ed Miliband and led the inquest after Labour's 2019 election disaster, has been promoted to the Shadow Cabinet as the new Shadow Housing Secretary.
Also promoted is Wes Streeting, a prominent critic of the former leader who takes a new job of Shadow Child Poverty Secretary. And Miliband-era shadow minister Shabana Mahmood takes Ms Rayner's job of campaign co-ordinator.
A Shadow Cabinet source said Mrs Rayner was in “a position of real strength now” as negotiations about her role dragged on.
A friend insisted she would now "have a big say over economic policy" after a furious backlash at the decision to ditch her on Saturday night.
"Members should be reassured that, together with Ed Miliband, there will now be a transformational agenda," the friend said. "This should broadly be seen as the right retreating from their attack."
An ally of Rayner added: “Angela obviously comes out of this significantly more powerful both in terms of the party and policy. She will be much more visible now she isn't being held back.
“She will lead both party reform and the development of a policy agenda that is credible, radical and actually connects with the voters we need to win."
And a Labour insider remarked: “Who would want to be national campaign coordinator in name only with no power when you’re just made the scapegoat for the failures of Keir’s team?"
Elsewhere Lisa Nandy will remain in the Shadow Foreign Secretary role and Jonathan Ashworth will stay at health.
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Mr Starmer apparently sacked his deputy Angela Rayner from her role as party chairwoman late on Saturday, only for his Shadow Scottish Secretary Ian Murray to say this morning that she had, in fact, been promoted.
Mr Starmer and his closest advisers began expecting to execute a brutal round of sackings following Labour ’s disastrous results in Thursday’s elections. But by mid-afternoon they were floundering as the shake-up stalled.
Asked if they knew what was going on, one Shadow Cabinet Minister replied: “Not a scooby.”
Another Shadow Cabinet source said it was the Leader of the Opposition’s office’s “mess to clear up”.
Another source said only “a couple of name tags” would be “moved around the Shadow Cabinet table”. The next meeting is due to take place on Monday.
Meanwhile, the bookies slashed the odds on Andy Burnham taking over the Labour leadership as the party reeled from its latest ballot box meltdown.
Ladbrokes installed Mr Burnham, the Greater Manchester Metro Mayor, as the 6/1 favourite to succeed Mr Starmer, who was on odds of 4/1 to be ousted before the end of the year.
Mr Burnham, a two-time leadership hopeful who was dubbed “King of the North” last autumn after his stand-off with No10 over coronavirus funding, fuelled speculation of a bid, saying: “In the distant future, if the party were to feel it needed me, well, I’m here and they should get in touch."Read More Related Articles
But Mr Burnham, who served as Health Secretary in Gordon Brown’s government, said: “I’ve been elected as Mayor of Greater Manchester, that is where my focus is. I left Westminster politics, I’m not an MP – you have to be an MP to stand for the leader of the Labour Party and I’m not aware the rules have changed. So, no, my focus is here.”
Labour lost the Hartlepool by-election, and the mayoral elections in West Midlands, and Tees Valley, Boris Johnson claiming a spectacular “hat-trick”.
Labour victories in the London, Greater Manchester and West of England mayoral contests, and the Welsh Senedd, failed to disguise the bleak overall picture.
With counting for 141 of England’s 143 councils complete by 7pm yesterday, Labour was down 323 councillors and eight town halls, with the Tories up 239 councillors and 13 local authorities. The results triggered Labour infighting and Mr Starmer, who on Friday promised to take full responsibility for the results, made sacking Ms Rayner his first priority.
But then yesterday morning, Shadow Scottish Secretary Ian Murray said Ms Rayner had been handed a “significant promotion”.
Mr Murray told Sky News’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday: “Angela Rayner has been offered a significant promotion to take her from the back office of the Labour party, running elections, to the front office, where she is talking to the country.
“So, in actual fact, Angela Rayner, as I understand it, as I have been told, has not been sacked.
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“But Keir Starmer has decided to do a reshuffle of his front bench to respond to those election results and move Angela from the back office to the front office.” Former Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell told BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show: “When the leader of the party on Friday said he takes responsibility for the election result in Hartlepool in particular and then scapegoats Angela Rayner, I think many of us feel that is unfair, particularly as we all know that Keir’s style of leadership is that his office controls everything.
“It is very centralised and he controlled the campaign.”
Former Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott said: “I think sacking Angela Rayner is not a unifying thing to do. I think it is baffling why he sacked Angela Rayner.
“She didn’t take any of the big decisions around Hartlepool and we’ve not heard anywhere in the country people saying they didn’t vote Labour because of Angela Rayner.
“I think it is puzzling to sack Angela Rayner and it really is unfair.”
In a faint glimmer of hope for the Labour Party, MP and former Coronation Street actress Tracy Brabin was announced as the first West Yorkshire Metro Mayor.
But she will have to quit as MP for Batley and Spen – opening the door to another tricky by-election, putting Mr Starmer under pressure to deliver victory in a key Red Wall battleground.
Ms Brabin, who played Tricia Armstrong on the Street, has held the seat since 2016 when a by-election took place after sitting MP Jo Cox was murdered by a far-right extremist.Labour shadow cabinet reshuffle in full PROMOTED/DEMOTED WITHIN SHADOW CABINET
- Angela Rayner: WAS Party chair and campaign co-ordinator, NOW Shadow Secretary of State for the Future of Work, Shadow First Secretary of State, Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.
- Anneliese Dodds: WAS Shadow Chancellor, NOW Party Chair & Chair of Labour Policy Review.
- Rachel Reeves: WAS Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, NOW Shadow Chancellor.
- Thangam Debbonaire: WAS Shadow Housing Secretary, NOW Shadow Leader of the Commons.
- Shabana Mahmood: WAS backbenches, NOW National Campaign Co-ordinator.
- Sir Alan Campbell: WAS Deputy Chief Whip, NOW Chief Whip.
- Lucy Powell: WAS Shadow Business Minister, NOW Shadow Housing Secretary.
- Wes Streeting: WAS Shadow Education Minister, NOW Shadow Secretary of State for Child Poverty.
- Nick Brown: WAS Chief Whip
- Valerie Vaz: WAS Shadow Leader of the Commons.