Clive Lewis returns to frontbench in Labour reshuffle

Heather Stewart Political editor
Clive Lewis had resigned from Corbyn’s shadow cabinet over the party’s stance on Brexit. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA

Jeremy Corbyn has brought Clive Lewis back to Labour’s frontbench and promoted the campaigning MP Laura Pidcock as part of 13 new appointments to the party’s junior ranks.

Lewis, the Norwich South MP who resigned over Labour’s Brexit stance – and was recently cleared of a claim of sexual assault – will be a junior shadow Treasury minister.

Corbyn said: “I am pleased to make these appointments to strengthen Labour’s frontbench team, which is now a government-in-waiting.

“I look forward to working with them in their new roles holding the government to account, developing policy to transform our country and, with their shadow secretary of states, preparing to form a government that will deliver for the many not the few.”

Pidcock, who has been a vocal critic of the government’s welfare reform policies, including universal credit, will be the new shadow minister for labour. She has been tipped by Corbyn allies as a potential leader of the party.

Pidcock was one of six new-intake MPs handed junior frontbench roles. Others include Dan Carden, who previously worked for the Unite leader Len McCluskey and took the safe seat of Liverpool Walton in June.

The Lincoln MP Karen Lee, a former nurse , will become shadow fire minister, a post vacated by the outspoken Corbynite MP Chris Williamson on Thursday. He stepped down after angering colleagues by publicly advocating a doubling of council tax, against the party’s policy.

None of the appointments are at shadow cabinet level, where Corbyn has kept in post the staunch loyalists on the left of the party who stepped into vacant roles when scores of MPs resigned on mass in the wake of 2016’s EU referendum.