Election results: Labour reshuffle - who could be on their way up and who could be on their way out?

·3-min read

The big Labour reshuffle of 2021 is finally under way.

And all it took was a devastating set of local election results and a bodged high-profile sacking to bring it to the fore.

The first person we know will be moved is the party's deputy leader Angela Rayner.

Elections 2021: Follow the latest results and reaction

Sir Keir Starmer sacked her as party chair and campaign co-ordinator last night.

The resulting revolt in Labour appears to have accelerated the pace of this wider shake-up.

Sir Keir does not have the power to remove her as deputy leader and those close to the Greater Manchester MP say she is not resigning that post.

Instead, allies of the leader say she will be given a promotion and handed a more front facing job.

That's designed to answer criticism from the party that sacking a working class MP from a constituency in the North of England is precisely the opposite of how Labour should be responding to the local election results.

The axing of shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds has been talked about in Westminster for months now.

Ms Dodds has struggled to land punches on the government amid vague and mixed opposition responses on key issues like corporate tax rates.

Faced with a slick opposite number in Rishi Sunak, Labour may want a heavyweight operator who can take the fight to the Treasury as it attempts to settle the massive bill its run up during the pandemic.

More controversial are rumours swirling in Labour circles overnight that Lisa Nandy and Jonathan Ashworth may be in the firing line.

As MP for Wigan and someone who has a keen interest in issues connected to "levelling up", sacking Ms Nandy would be no doubt trigger the same outpouring of anger in the parliamentary party that met the Rayner announcement last night.

A move from shadow foreign secretary to a domestic facing role would seem more sensible.

But as a fellow leadership contender last year and someone who is not afraid to speak her mind and carve out her own political identity, the leader's office may see her as a liability, or perhaps even a threat.

Getting rid of Jonathan Ashworth, the party's lead health voice during the pandemic, would also cause waves.

Again, the shadow health secretary is not afraid to speak his own mind.

But he's also a good communicator and can land punches on the government when it matters.

Those are qualities many in Labour argue are in short supply in the top team.

In terms of promotions, the rumour mill suggests that loyalty will be a key currency valued by the leader's office.

Rachel Reeves, Steve Reed and Sarah Jones, three current shadow ministers, who frequently are sent out to bat on the airwaves could be on the way up.

It's an open question as to whether elevating three relative unknowns will quell fears over a lack of visibility in the top team though.

Others would prefer promotions for more heavyweight figures like Yvette Cooper or Hilary Benn, higher profile politicians who have actual cabinet experience.

But with loyalty seemingly prized so highly in Labour right now, both MPs may wonder whether they can make more of a difference from the backbenches.