Diane Abbot slams Labour shuffle as ‘shift to the right’

Labour MP Diane Abbott has branded Sir Keir Starmer’s reshuffle of the party’s frontbench as a “slow, inexorable move to the right”.

The MP, who served in various shadow ministerial roles under the Corbyn leadership, told Sky News earlier today the promotion of MPs such as the Blairite Yvette Cooper and others, Sir Keir was “putting the greatest possible distance between him and the 10 pledges” outlined during his leadership bid.

She explained: “We are hearing very little about abolishing Universal Credit, about abolishing tuition fees, about taking things back into common ownership… with this new shadow cabinet.”

“I just think this is a slow inexorable move to the right,” Ms Abbott argued, adding that she perceived it as a “vote winning gesture” that could fail.

The long-serving MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington went on: “Will this win us votes in Scotland? I don’t think this will necessarily win us all the votes we need to win, especially in Scotland.”

She also suggested that it was “bizarre” that the reshuffle occurred at the same time as deputy leader Angela Rayner’s address to the Institute for Government on sleaze reforms, and urged Sir Keir to heal what she saw as a “fractured” relationship Ms Rayner.