Angela Rayner is shifted to Levelling Up brief – with shadow deputy PM title – while Lisa Nandy is demoted as Keir Starmer reshuffles his top team TODAY
Deputy leader Ms Rayner looks to be the big winner from the shake-up so far, despite an at-times tense relationship with Sir Keir.
She has agreed to be removed from her Cabinet Office beat, where she has been directly shadowing deputy PM Oliver Dowden.
Lisa Nandy has been effectively demoted from Levelling Up to shadow international development secretary – a post that has no equivalent in government.
Jonathan Ashworth also seems to have suffered a setback, being moved from work and pensions to shadow paymaster general – although sources stressed he is still a full shadow cabinet member and will ‘play a big role in the general election campaign’.
Crucially Ms Rayner has also formally been named shadow deputy PM, suggesting she will get the title should Labour win power.
Although Ms Rayner cannot be removed as deputy leader – having been directly elected by the party – allies have been warning against any bid to sideline her.
Meanwhile, Steve Reed has been shifted from Justice to replace shadow environment secretary Jim McMahon, who is standing down for personal reasons.
That makes space for rising star Shabana Mahmood to be elevated from campaigns coordinator. Liz Kendall has also been pushed up to the top rank as shadow work and pensions secretary.
The overhaul comes as Parliament returns from its summer recess and Sir Keir’s new chief of staff Sue Gray starts work.
Keir Starmer is bracing to reshuffle his top team today with his deputy Angela Rayner expected to be shifted
Angela Rayner (pictured) will take the Levelling Up post from Lisa Nandy, which includes the key issue of housing
Ms Nandy has been effectively demoted to shadow international development secretary – a post that has no equivalent in government
A Labour source said Sir Keir Starmer had given Angela Rayner an ‘important role’ in his team.
‘Keir is delighted that Angela has accepted this important role, in addition she will continue to be the strategic lead on Labour’s new deal for working people,’ the source said.
Sir Keir is not expected to make radical changes to the biggest jobs, with shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves and shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper seen as safe.
Shadow energy secretary Ed Miliband’s position also seems to have firmed up despite persistent briefing that he was at risk.
Keir’s key changes
Angela Rayner – shadow Levelling Up and shadow deputy PM
Shabana Mahmood – from campaigns coordinator to shadow justice
Liz Kendall – from shadow health minister to shadow work and pensions secretary
Lisa Nandy – demoted from shadow Levelling Up to shadow international development
Jonathan Ashworth – from shadow work and pensions to shadow paymaster general
Steve Reed – from shadow justice to shadow environment
Partygate investigator Ms Gray, who controversially left the civil service to become Sir Keir’s chief of staff, is expected formally to take on her new role on Monday.
The former mandarin has been waiting for the end of a six-month cooling off period after exiting Whitehall.
With Labour enjoying consistent double-digit poll leads, Ms Gray is being tasked with preparing to implement flagship policies in government.
As tensions surfaced over the reshuffle rumours at the weekend, one Rayner ally told The Sun On Sunday: ‘Some people are out to put her back in her box.’
They added: ‘They might try to strike us down and find us more powerful than before.’
Some expect the Prime Minister to carry out a wider Government reshuffle in the coming months.
It comes as both leaders gear up for annual party conference season in October and look to getting their top teams in shape for the next general election.
With Labour enjoying consistent double-digit poll leads, new chief of staff Sue Gray is being tasked with preparing to implement flagship policies in government
Partygate investigator Sue Gray, who controversially left the civil service to become Sir Keir’s chief of staff, is expected formally to start her new role today
All eyes will be on the fate of Ms Rayner, with whom Sir Keir has sometimes had a fraught relationship (pictured together campaigning in Selby)