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Rayner's coded warning to Starmer not to brief media about upcoming Labour reshuffle

NewsRayner's coded warning to Starmer not to brief media about upcoming Labour reshuffle

Angela Rayner has delivered a coded warning to Keir Starmer not to repeat the same chaotic mistakes from his last two reshuffles.

Rumours are rife that the Labour leader will shortly carry out his final shadow cabinet reshuffle before next year’s general election, with plenty of briefings in the media about who will be up and who will be down.

In 2021, Sir Keir implemented two reshuffles of his top team – one in May and another in November – both of which were perceived as chaotic and messy.

In the May reshuffle, Sir Keir went into the shake-up aiming to demote Angela Rayner, but by the end of the political battle she emerged victorious with a new prominent role.

In November, Ms Rayner was left ‘blindsided’ with a surprise second reshuffle, and was left fuming that her big speech that day had been totally undermined by Keir Starmer’s decision.

This morning Ms Rayner told Times Radio that reshuffle rumours are just “complete speculation that’s going on in the media”.

“Reshuffles happen and they happen from time-to-time… I certainly know Keir Starmer is not going to brief out before he’s spoken to his shadow cabinet before his reshuffle.”

“That is absolutely certain, if he does decide he wants to change his top team and move them around then that’s his prerogative do to that and he won’t be doing it through the media, he’ll be doing it by discussing it with those individuals and of course people play different roles in the Labour Party and the front bench.”

In May 2021, it was reported the first Ms Rayner’s team new about a reshuffle was when a journalist called her aide for a response to briefings about who would get what job.

This morning Ms Rayner added the shadow cabinet has “not been discussing the reshuffle, no, because we’re focused on the cost-of-living crisis at the moment and the issues facing the country”.

The morning of the November 2021 reshuffle, Ms Rayner also made similar reassurances to Times Radio, downplaying reshuffle rumours because “I reckon that Keir would tell me first”.

“No, I’m not aware of any plans for a reshuffle, I haven’t been consulted, so I don’t think there’s any focus on that at the moment.”

On that occasion her beliefs were clearly misguided, as Sir Keir began a reshuffle three hours later.

A fortnight ago, rumours emerged that Sir Keir plans on moving Angela Rayner out of the top Cabinet Office post, possibly to the local government brief.

The move would force Lisa Nandy into yet another demotion, already falling down the ranks from shadow foreign secretary to shadow levelling up.

One senior party official appeared to insult Ms Rayner, saying: “It isn’t a case of Ange being allowed to pick and choose any job she likes, she clearly isn’t in a strong enough position to do that”.

It’s also reported Anneliese Dodds, the current party chairman, is facing a demotion.

It’s believed Sir Keir will reshuffle his team before the parliamentary summer recess begins.

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