Opposition reshuffles are difficult to manage: no one really cares, they make little impact and can distract your party with days of infighting. It is all the more unfortunate, therefore, that Sir Keir Starmer is so bad at them.
His attempt at a shakeup in May was designed to clip the wings of his fiery deputy, Angela Rayner. It resulted in her gaining responsibilities and was described by one of his own MPs as a “despicable act of cowardice”: she refused to be sidelined and the row dragged the reshuffle out painfully.
This time, Sir Keir began his reshuffle as Rayner was about to give a major speech on conduct and standards. Before any announcements were made, the big story was the rift between leader and deputy, hardly a point for internal harmony.
It was clearly a reshuffle designed to fill Labour’s frontbenches with names people might know. Unfortunately for Starmer, it’s probably another reshuffle to forget.