With the Labour Party recently having performed a major reshuffle of its frontbenchers, the pressure is on to refresh the image of the party following numerous scandals and internal affairs. Recent allegations of anti-Semitism, as well as Labour’s relative silence on Brexit under Jeremy Corbyn has left the party in need of a new image.
Much of the reshuffle is being seen as a major attempt by Sir Keir Starmer to oust any remaining influence left behind from the Jeremy Corbyn era.
Pressure is also on Angela Rayner in light of allegations that Sir Keir may have her removed from her position.
Reports have emerged that Sir Keir’s team had already discussed ditching the role of Deputy Leader during a meeting earlier this year.
Some suggest that this internal Labour Party coup is an “insult to democracy.”
As Ms Rayner has been elected to her post, any move to abolish the role would need to be supported at the party conference.
Taking to Twitter to welcome in the new players, Angela Rayner said: “Delighted to welcome the brilliant Justin Madders to my team and reappoint the excellent Imran Hussain.”
The Deputy Labour Leader added: “A dream team to deliver our New Deal for working people, tackle the challenges of the future of work, and hold this Government to account.”
The so-called New Deal is a copy of the welfare programme introduced by Labour in 1998.
Addressing the issue of major in-fighting within the Labour Party, some took the opportunity to call for unity.
John Gidman said: “Can you please work together with Keir Starmer to unite Labour so we can defeat the current Government.”
He added: “I’m sick and tired of hearing about in-fighting when you should all be pulling together.”
Speaking of his new appointment to the role, Justin Madders said he was “delighted” with the job.
The role will see him work with Shadow Secretary of State for Business and Industrial Strategy, Jonathan Reynolds, as well as deputy party leader Angela Rayner.
Since being elected in 2015, Mr Madders had been part of the Shadow Health team after being appointed to that role in September by former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn following the latter’s election as party leader.
Writing on social media, Mr Madders said: “Am delighted to become Shadow Minister for Employment Rights and Protection/Future Of Work under Jonathan Reynolds and Angela Rayner.”
In light of recent opinion polls, it seems that any surge by the Labour Party appears to come from Tory mishaps, rather than Labour gains.
After a summer showing a small but very steady lead for the Conservative Party in the opinion polls, the trend polling position at the end of November 2021 now has the two major parties locked in a dead heat.
The polling averages extrapolated over the last three weeks by Politics.co.uk show Labour on 36.7 percent, the Conservatives on 36.6 percent, and the Liberal Democrats on 9.3 percent.
Where the Conservatives had increased their poll lead following Rishi Sunak’s October 2021 budget, the party’s polling took an immediate hit of 3 percent following the Owen Patterson affair in the first week of November.