Isabel Hardman

Jeremy Corbyn never really wanted a ‘revenge reshuffle’

Jeremy Corbyn never really wanted a 'revenge reshuffle'
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Jeremy Corbyn is expected to make changes to his junior ministerial team today, though some might choose to walk anyway, particularly in protest at the sacking of Pat McFadden.

Meanwhile sources in Hilary Benn's camp are insisting that the decision to keep him in place as shadow foreign secretary but not allow him to take a dissenting position from the dispatch box won't lead to a material change in the way the two men work together. A source says:

'When you strip away the hysterical and breathless reporting of it, all you have got is two men who do not operate on a 24 hour news cycle and are not influenced by Twitter. These two men are experienced old school politicians who have been able to work in step on most issues and that hasn’t changed.’

So why the limited reshuffle? There is a feeling in the party that Corbyn got what he wanted last night. He doesn't like confrontation, he's not of a temperament that longs for bloody political purges - unlike some of those around him - and he is generally happy to go for free votes. Perhaps the biggest mistake his team made was not to shoot down rumours of a revenge reshuffle sooner.

Update, 10.31am: Hilary Benn has now said that he 'hasn't been muzzled'. 'I'm going to be carrying on, doing my job exactly as before,' he told the BBC:

https://soundcloud.com/spectator1828/hilary-benn-i-havent-been-muzzled

Written byIsabel Hardman

Isabel Hardman is assistant editor of The Spectator. She also presents Radio 4’s Week in Westminster and is author of Why We Get The Wrong Politicians.

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Topics in this articlePoliticsjeremy corbynlabour party