What should we expect from Harriet Harman’s mini-reshuffle?

In the coming days, Acting Labour leader Harriet Harman will need to conduct a significant but tricky reshuffle of the Labour front bench. With many senior Labour figures losing their seats last week, Harman will need to replace figures such as Ed Balls and Douglas Alexander as Shadow Chancellor and Foreign Secretary. But there are other moves within the Shadow Cabinet (and elsewhere) that will need to take place. Here are some of the moves we’re expecting:


Shadow Chancellor – The simplest and least contentious move would be to make Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury Chris Leslie the Shadow Chancellor. That should avoid ruffling any feathers amongst leadership candidates, and Leslie is one of the more popular figures in the PLP, so such an appointment would likely be popular. Meanwhile another member of the Treasury team (perhaps Shabana Mahmood?) might step up to act as Shadow Chief Secretary.

Shadow Foreign Secretary – As with the Shadow Treasury Team, the Shadow Foreign Office team, shorn of their leader, will require an experienced pair of hands on the tiller. So eyes are on Pat McFadden (the second in command in the foreign affairs team) stepping up to that role.

Shadow Justice Secretary – It seems likely that Sadiq Khan will run for Mayor of London, and if he does it’s unlikely he’d stay on in the Shadow Cabinet. Now that Dan Jarvis has ruled himself out of standing for Labour leader he may be asked to step up to the role, although experienced shadow justice minister Andy Slaughter is another option.

Shadow Culture Secretary – As Harman will have her hands full with the job of Acting Leader, it’s likely that she’ll want to appoint a new Shadow Culture Secretary. Chris Bryant, who has been her number two in that team, seems like the obvious choice.

Everything Labour.
Every weekday morning.

By clicking ‘subscribe’ you confirm you have read and agree to our privacy policy

More from LabourList

Donate to fund our journalism


Subscribe to our Daily Email