Labour leadership crisis talks continue, and who’s who in new shadow cabinet
Tom Watson will meet Unite union chief Len McLuskey again today in an attempt to increase the pressure on Jeremy Corbyn and convince the Labour leader to resign.
The pair met yesterday, along with chief whip Rosie Winterton and parliamentary Labour party chairman John Cryer, to discuss the crisis which has engulfed the opposition in the past 10 days.
More than 60 shadow ministers have resigned, while three-quarters of Labour MPs backed a motion of no confidence in Mr Corbyn.
Former Shadow Business Secretary Angela Eagle has also threatened to mount a leadership challenge if he does not resign.
Yet despite the mounting pressure on him, Mr Corbyn and his close allies have insisted he is going nowhere.
Addressing a National Union of Teachers rally outside parliament yesterday, shadow chancellor John McDonnell said: “Jeremy Corbyn will not resign – he is staying in position.”
Deputy Labour leader Mr Watson, the MP for West Bromwich East, told Mr Corbyn in a face to face meeting yesterday that he must quit after losing the support of most of his MPs.
Yesterday’s talks between Mr Watson and Mr McCluskey, who is regarded as a key Corbyn supporter, were described as “cordial”, but no breakthrough was made.
A proposed peace deal, it has been suggested, is that Mr Corbyn will agree to step down before the 2020 General Election.
“While there is still hope that Jeremy will stand down, we’ve got to keep trying,” said a source close to Mr Watson. “We have to do all we can.”
They will talk again this afternoon, while Mr Watson also plans to discuss the situation with the leaders of other Labour-backing unions Unison, the GMB and CWU in the coming days.
Mr McCluskey also met Mr Corbyn for 30 minutes in his Commons office yesterday. A spokesman for the Labour leader said: “Len is looking at the lie of the land and having talks, and Jeremy is happy for him to.”
Momentum, the Corbyn-supporting pressure group of Labour members, is continuing to organise demonstrations in support of the party leader. A march and lobby outside Birmingham council House tomorrow evening is expected to be supported by a number of Labour city councillors.
Here is a list of the new shadow cabinet following last week’s resignations:
Leader of the Labour Party – Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP
Deputy Leader of the Party, Party Chair and Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office – Tom Watson MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, and Shadow Lord President of the Council and Campaigns and Elections Chair – Jon Trickett MP
Shadow Minister for Voter Engagement and Youth Affairs – Cat Smith MP
Shadow Minister without Portfolio – Jonathan Ashworth MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Shadow Minister for the Constitutional Convention – Grahame Morris MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport – Kelvin Hopkins MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Defence – Clive Lewis MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities – Angela Rayner MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change – Barry Gardiner MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Environment Food and Rural Affairs – Rachael Maskell MP
Shadow Foreign Secretary – Emily Thornberry MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Health – Diane Abbott MP
Shadow Home Secretary – Rt Hon Andy Burnham MP
Shadow Secretary of State for International Development – Kate Osamor MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Justice and Shadow Lord Chancellor – Richard Burgon MP
Shadow Leader of the House and Shadow Secretary of State for Wales – Paul Flynn MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland – Dave Anderson MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Transport – Andy McDonald MP
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer – John McDonnell MP
Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury – Rebecca Long-Bailey MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions – Debbie Abrahams MP
Opposition Chief Whip – Rt Hon Dame Rosie Winterton MP
Leader of the House of Lords – Rt Hon Baroness (Angela) Smith
House of Lords Chief Whip – Rt Hon Lord (Steve) Bassam
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