Sir Keir Starmer is believed to be preparing to reshuffle his Shadow Cabinet. It comes as he continues to struggle in the polls. Criticism of the Labour leader has increased in recent days, after prominent figures in the movement described Sir Keir as having a “lack of authenticity”.
This charge was made by Len McCluskey, General Secretary of Unite the Union, who has long since pitted himself as the former lawyer’s most vocal critic.
One of the biggest shakeups Sir Keir is said to be planning is swapping his Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds.
Allies of Sir Keir say she has failed to communicate Labour’s vision effectively and is currently underperforming, according to The Sunday Times.
Now, Lisa Nandy, the Shadow Foreign Secretary, is thought to be in the running to replace her.
A colourful political history, Ms Nandy was a prominent figure under former leader Jeremy Corbyn, but resigned from the Shadow Cabinet after condemning Corbynite MPs for wanting to “smash” their critics.
She ran against Sir Keir in last year’s Labour leadership elections, eventually coming in third place behind him and Rebecca Long-Bailey.
Controversially, Ms Nandy attempted to woo Labour members by saying she would vote to abolish the monarchy.
This was a radical alternative to Sir Keir who said he would “downsize” the royals but not get rid of them, compared to Ms Long-Bailey who said she had no plans on the monarchy.
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The grassroots pressure group Momentum is now thought to be keen on forcing Sir Keir to adopt an abolitionist stance.
It is currently balloting its members to determine what policies it should back at the party’s Annual Conference in September.
Among those proposals is the royal question.
The motion being put to a vote would call on Labour to express “concern at the incompatibility of the monarchy, an institution based on hereditary status, wealth and privilege, with these values”.
If chosen, the group would pile pressure on Sir Keir to agree to sack the Queen if Labour was successful in 2024’s general election.
It would further demand “that the next Labour Government should give consideration to the adoption of a constitution in which a sovereign monarch would be replaced by a system of popular sovereignty in which citizens collectively would be the paramount authority”.
Sir Keir’s spokesman has since said the Labour leader “believes in the monarchy” following the resurfacing of video footage showing him, as a younger man, backing abolishing the Royal Family.
Labour’s Annual Conference will take place between September 25 and 29.
It will be the first time Sir Keir has had to address party supporters in person since becoming Labour leader.
Last year’s conference was scrapped due to the pandemic.