Jonathan Ashworth expected to be offered shadow health secretary role - but may need to resign from Labour's National Executive Committee

Francesca Washtell
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The Labour Party Autumn Conference 2015 - Day 3
Jonathan Ashworth is the MP for Leicester South (Source: Getty)

Jonathan Ashworth is widely expected to be offered the role of shadow health secretary in Jeremy Corbyn's frontbench, City A.M. understands.

However, in return for the promotion he is likely to need to resign from Labour's National Executive Committee (NEC).

If he does resign, it will pave the way for the influential committee to be comprised of a pro-Jeremy Corbyn majority and would be a way for the Labour leader to strengthen his grip on power after winning last month's leadership contest by a large majority.

The Leicester South MP, who is currently a shadow minister without portfolio, did not step down from the shadow cabinet during the mass-resignation in June shortly after the pro-Brexit referendum result.

Read more: Jeremy Corbyn has named a new shadow City minister, recruiting an MP who previously resigned in protest over his leadership

Corbyn announced a string of appointments yesterday amid a reshuffle of the opposition frontbench.

Diane Abbott was appointed shadow home secretary, while Jonathan Reynolds was confirmed as shadow City minister and human rights campaigner Shami Chakrabarti has taken the role of shadow attorney general.

Ashworth's office has been contacted for comment. Though the appointment has not officially been confirmed, Ashworth sent out a tweet about the NHS an hour ago, saying the party will be "campaigning hard" for it.

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