Starmer’s reshuffle

Dave Levy
4 min readSep 8
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Kier Starmer rearranges the desk chairs and announces a Labour Shadow Cabinet reshuffle. Most, including Phil BC, with whom I agree, see this as a shift to the right of the Party. The demotion of Ashworth and his replacement with Kendall is a move to the right on policy grounds. The demotion of Lisa Nandy & Rosanna Allin-Kahn would seem to be a warning to others that either have ambition or ideas. Momentum’s co-chair Hilary Schan, reacts in this article in Left foot forward, and points at Neal Lawson’s devastating critique of the reshuffle, as being designed to minimise [and scare] ideological diversity.

In the rest of this article, I comment on some of the more high profile moves and look, in some detail, at the new leadership in Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

The high spot for me is moving Reed from Justice, perhaps moving someone who must share some of the blame for losing Croydon Council to a popular insurgency to impose a Mayor, to DEFRA is designed to put him somewhere where he can do less damage electorally. Reed also proselytises the worst of blue labour politics on crime and punishment. Shabanna Mahmood, who takes over at justice from him, has generally struck me as decent, a talent much needed in the Justice portfolio and has voted in favour of proportional representation. It is being reported that Ellie Reeves has been moved from Justice to campaigning; she previously held the role of shadow Solicitor-General; I am unsure who is replacing her and we can assume that Starmer’s kitchen cabinet see campaigning as more important than compliance which is what the Solicitor-General does.

McFadden moving to Treasury reinforces the power of the orthodox neo-liberal economists in the shadow Treasury team.

I had a look at the changes to the digital and digitisation portfolio because it interests me and others will not.

Thangam Debbonaire swaps with Lucy Powell to become shadow Secretary for digital, culture, media and sport. Stephanie Peacock gets, Media, Data, and Digital Infrastructure, the departmental portfolio is described at while Alex Davies-Jones gets Tech, Gambling, and the Digital Economy, also described on the site. On reading the two departmental pages, there seems to be some room for confusion as they both have responsibility for data, and the split…

Dave Levy

Brit, Londoner, economist, Labour, privacy, cybersecurity, traveller, father - mainly writing about UK politics & IT,