— Mike Smithson (@MSmithsonPB) January 6, 2016
The changes don’t live up to the billing
In the end the news that Hilary Benn would remain in post came at 1.07 am and the overall package appears little different from what it was before. Benn is still there while Emily Thornberry replaces Maria Eagle as shadow defence secretary. She in turn switches to the culture job. Full details can be found here.
- What this highlights is that those in Corbyn’s team who were briefing about the extent of the planned changes during the holiday period really went too far. They should not have put the leader in a position where retaining Benn looks like a climb-down.
The relationship between a leader and his PR team is absolutely critical and they have to know just how far they can go in off the record briefings with the media.
No doubt Corbyn himself will have learned a lot in the past three days and my guess is that future reshuffles will operate differently. I wonder whether we might see changes in his top team of advisers. There ought to be.
The chances of Corbyn surviving look a little bit higher.