Diane Abbott appeared on Sky News and was not impressed by Sir Keir Starmer’s reshuffle announcement, claiming the move would not win over voters in Scotland. The former shadow cabinet member was concerned the party was now moving to the right with more centrist MPs now taking a prominent role in Labour. But Ms Abbott was confronted with concerns some voters were put off by Jeremy Corbyn’s left-wing politics with the MP stating Labour’s vote share had increased under him in 2017 which prompted a deadpan response from Adam Boulton highlighting they had “still lost”.
Speaking on Sky News, Ms Abbott was invited to share her opinions on the Labour reshuffle which was announced during deputy leader Angela Rayner’s keynote speech to the Institute for Government.
Ms Abbott did not seem pleased with the news and told the broadcaster: “Well, I mean, one of the things that Keir is doing is putting the greatest possible distance between him and the 10 pledges he made… in order to get elected in the first place.
“We’re hearing very little about abolishing Universal Credit, abolishing tuition fees, bring thing back into common ownership.
“He’s put a lot of distance between himself and that with the new shadow cabinet.”
Mr Boulton wanted to know whether the reshuffle was a “betrayal” of Labour with Ms Abbott disagreeing and saying it was the party’s move to the right.
She added Sir Keir may think it would win votes but it would not go down well in Scotland.
Mr Boulton asked whether it would win votes in England and if it would bring back red wall voters and explained many were turned off by Jeremy Corbyn.
Ms Abbott pointed out in 2017 that Mr Corbyn increased Labour’s vote share from 30.4 percent to 40 percent.
This prompted Mr Boulton to bluntly say “Yeah but you still lost” before moving on.
Sir Keir announced his reshuffle during his deputy’s keynote speech on corruption as Ms Rayner was left blindsided by the announcement.
Yvette Cooper was announced as the new shadow home secretary with David Lammy given the shadow foreign secretary role.
Lisa Nandy was then moved to shadow levelling up secretary to hold Michael Gove to account.
Wes Streeting was also moved to shadow health and social care secretary.
The changes have been seen by some political commentators as Labour moving to the centre-ground to regain northern voters, especially with Ms Nandy’s appointment as shadow levelling up secretary.
Ms Abbott also told Sky News Sir Keir Starmer needed to “sharpen up” his relationship with Angela Rayner as she was furious over the announcement overshadowing her speech.
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