Jonathan Ashworth made Shadow Health Secretary in new-look Labour frontbench

Posted On: 
7th October 2016

Jonathan Ashworth was named Labour's new Shadow Health Secretary today - amid claims he has been asked to quit the party's National Executive Committee in return for the job.

Jonathan Ashworth has become Shadow Health Secretary
Credit: 
The House

The Leicester South MP is one of three Shadow Cabinet appointees to the ruling body, which currently has a slim anti-Jeremy Corbyn majority.

It is thought the Labour leader wants to replace him with one of his own frontbench allies to give him greater influence on the party's key decision-making body.

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Mr Corbyn tried to sack Mr Ashworth - who was previously Shadow Cabinet member without portfolio - from his NEC role in July, but was forced to backtrack after a frontbench revolt.

PoliticsHome understands that he will remain on the NEC until a replacement is chosen - but it will not be Mr Corbyn who decides who that is.

A senior Labour source said: "The party rule book is clear - any replacement for Jonathan would need to be nominated by the Shadow Cabinet."

CLIVE LEWIS DEMOTED

Among the other big stories of Mr Corbyn's reshuffle was moving Clive Lewis from the Defence brief over to Shadow Business Secretary and replacing him with anti-Trident MP Nia Griffith.

It followed a row during Labour conference, when Mr Lewis had been due to say he "would not seek to change" Labour party policy of backing Trident renewal. 

That line was then removed form his speech by Mr Corbyn's media chief Seumas Milne, leading to Mr Lewis punching a wall in frustration.

STARMER TO BREXIT

Other appointments include Keir Starmer, one of more than 60 frontbenchers to quit over the summer, who has been appointed Shadow Brexit Secretary.

 

Jon Trickett becomes Shadow Lord President of the Council, while Jonathan Reynolds - another of those who resigned earlier this year - is Shadow Economic Secretary to the Treasury.

Other key appointments include Diane Abbott as Shadow Home Secretary and Baroness Chakrabarti as Shadow Attorney General.

Meanwhile, Mr Corbyn also sacked Rosie Winterton as chief whip and replaced her with former Gordon Brown ally Nick Brown.

See all the appointments to Jeremy Corbyn's frontbench team here.