Jeremy Corbyn has been forced to look for a new shadow attorney general — just hours after telling the Today programme Labour was “moving on” from his reshuffle.
The resignation of Catherine McKinnell is no ordinary selection headache:
1 – There are no NE MPs in th shad cab now 2 – Labour doesn’t have many lawyer MPs left 3 – This means the reshuffle has started again
— Mark Ferguson (@Markfergusonuk) January 11, 2016
Sadiq Khan, Emily Thornberry and Chuka Umunna are surely out of the running for obvious reasons and Harriet Harman is a doubt given her recent criticism.
So unless he looks to the Lords, the thin field would appear to be:
- Corbyn-nominating Rebecca Long-Bailey (pictured above), who replaced Hilary Benn on the party’s ruling NEC
- Shadow City minister and former trade union lawyer Richard Burgon would be another loyalist appointment
- Shadow justice minister and ex-barrister Andy Slaughter is less Corbyn but a safe pair of hands, having been in the brief since 2010
- Current shadow solicitor general Karl Turner is an obvious choice, but currently faces the distraction of a standards commissioner probe
- Andy McDonald ticks a box as a North East MP, but again would need to be replaced in turn, having just been made a shadow transport minister
- Brown-era minister Ian Lucas backed Burnham for leader but has since offered support to Corbyn
Scrapbook prediction: Karl Turner given the nod with Long-Bailey replacing him as shadow solicitor general.
The re-booted reshuffle has now been going on for 168 hours.