Thursday, 13 Jun 2024

Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer show off new-look teams

Keir Starmer shows off his ‘hungry’ reshuffled team in Reservoir Dogs-style walk through Westminster – while Rishi Sunak holds his first Cabinet of term (but Gillian Keegan is left waiting at No10 door)

Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak showed off their rival teams today as they kicked off the election run-in.

The Labour leader hailed his ‘hungry’ reshuffled front bench on a Reservoir Dogs-style walk through Westminster.

Sir Keir was flanked by Angela Rayner – who has officially been made shadow deputy PM – and shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves after promoting a host of Blairites.

Meanwhile, the PM has assembled his Cabinet for the first time since making limited changes to replace departing Defence Secretary Ben Wallace.

But the mooted Tory ‘reset’ has been largely overshadowed by the crisis over crumbling concrete in schools. 

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan’s bruising week continued this morning as the No10 door failed to open when she arrived for Cabinet – forcing her to knock to be let in.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman was also left waiting awkwardly on the threshold of the famous building.  

The Labour leader hailed his ‘hungry’ reshuffled front bench on a Reservoir Dogs-style walk through Westminster


Rishi Sunak has assembled his Cabinet for the first time since replacing departing Defence Secretary Ben Wallace with Grant Shapps (left) and making Claire Coutinho the Net Zero Secretary 

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan’s bruising week continued this morning as the No10 door failed to open when she arrived for Cabinet – forcing her to knock to be let in

Home Secretary Suella Braverman was also left waiting awkwardly on the threshold of the famous building

Sir Keir told his shadow cabinet they faced an ‘important and crucial’ political period, with by-elections, party conferences, the King’s Speech and an Autumn Statement in the coming months. 

He said Labour needed to use its conference in October to ‘show that we are ready as a party’ and ‘have the answers the country so desperately needs’. 

‘You are around this table because of four things: your talent, your commitment, your hunger – really, really important – and because I wanted a team that wakes up every morning determined to rise to the challenges that our country faces and determined to improve our country for the better.’ 

An extended shadow cabinet meeting was expected to discuss plans for party conference, the upcoming Rutherglen and Hamilton West and Mid Bedfordshire by-elections, polling and the general election campaign. 

The gathering, at Westminster’s Church House, saw former minister Hilary Benn take his places at the shadow cabinet table, as well as fellow moderate Liz Kendall, Ellie Reeves and Darren Jones. 

The gathering, at Westminster’s Church House, saw former minister Hilary Benn take his places at the shadow cabinet table, as well as fellow moderate Liz Kendall, Ellie Reeves and Darren Jones

Sir Keir told his shadow cabinet they faced an ‘important and crucial’ political period, with by-elections, party conferences, the King’s Speech and an Autumn Statement in the coming months

Sir Keir said the party had made ‘real progress’ but there was ‘a long, long way to go’. He told his top team there could be ‘absolutely no complacency’. 

‘It’s a long, long road from where we landed in 2019 to being in the privileged position – and it is a privileged position – to form the next Labour government, and not a single vote has been cast. 

‘Whatever anyone says or any polls say, not a single vote has been cast in the next general election, and every single vote has to be earned.’ 

He warned that ‘things get harder, always, towards the end of a race’ but ‘we must keep our eyes on the prize’. 

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