Five things we’ve learned about Labour under Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn chairs his first Shadow Cabinet meeting
Jeremy Corbyn chairs his first Shadow Cabinet meeting
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it is only the third full day of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party and we have already learned quite a lot.

1. Many of Yorkshire’s senior Labour figures are not big fans.

Ed Miliband, Mary Creagh, Caroline Flint, Yvette Cooper, Rachel Reeves, Dan Jarvis and Angela Smith have all chosen to sit on the backbenches rather than join Mr Corbyn’s frontbench team.

However, Yorkshire colleagues Jon Trickett, Hilary Benn and Michael Dugher have decided to be part of the Shadow Cabinet although with varying levels of support for Mr Corbyn’s policy ideas.

2. Corbyn is sensitive to criticism

According to accounts from those who were standing outside the room where Mr Corbyn was carrying out his reshuffle, criticism that the top jobs were all going to men led to the swift appointment of Angela Eagle as Shadow First Secretary, standing in for him at Prime Minister’s Questions.

3. He is determined to press head with a radical change of direction

Throughout his campaign the new Labour leader stressed his desire to the party in a more inclusive direction but his appointment of John McDonnell as Shadow Chancellor underlines his determination to break the consensus on economic policy.

4. Supporting the leader and his policies is now optional

In a series of interviews, new shadow cabinet ministers have pointedly avoided giving Mr Corbyn their full throated support or endorse his agenda. Indeed, Mr Corbyn has appointed a shadow defence secretary who has previously voted in favour of Trident in direct contrast to his own views.

5. Corbyn owns a tie (a red one)

Having sported the open-neck-and-vest-on-show look during the leadership campaign, Mr Corbyn went all conventional and donned a tie for his first appearance in the Commons chamber as leader.