Jeremy Corbyn Appoints Tom Watson As Shadow Culture Secretary As He Completes Post-Election Reshuffle

'I’m looking forward to working with Jeremy'.

07/10/2016 15:52 | Updated 07 October 2016

Jeremy Corbyn has made Tom Watson shadow culture secretary, as he completed his reshuffle on Friday following his re-election as Labour leader.

The appointment puts the party’s deputy leader in charge of the party’s position on press regulation, after his prominent role confronting Rupert Murdoch over phone hacking.

In a statement, Watson said: “I’m looking forward to working with Jeremy to develop Labour’s policy on introducing the arts pupil premium to every child of primary school age.

“There should be no class ceiling placed on anyone who wants to contribute to or enjoy our artistic, musical and sporting heritage. I also want our globally successful games industry to be given the recognition it deserves.”

Matt Crossick/Matt Crossick
Tom Watson (left) and Jeremy Corbyn

Corbyn also issued a statement saying: “Following my re-election as Leader of the Labour party, I have made a number of new appointments to Labour’s shadow cabinet.

“For the first time, two of the three ‘great offices of state’ are shadowed by women. Once again, the shadow cabinet has a majority of women, and has more black and minority ethnic appointees than any shadow cabinet or cabinet ever.

“I have acted to bring together a strong and diverse opposition leadership team. Our aim is to deliver what millions of people are demanding: a Labour party focussed on holding this divisive government to account and winning the next general election.”

On Friday, the second day of the reshuffle, Jon Ashworth was also announced as shadow health secretary.

The Leicester South MP had served as shadow minister without portfolio and sits on Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee (NEC).

Ashworth currently holds one of three cabinet positions on the NEC, and is known for his independent views. 

Corbyn had tried to push Ashworth out of the committee ahead of a key vote on Labour’s membership rules - but was prevented at the time by a rebellion from the shadow cabinet. 

Yesterday, Corbyn moved to stamp his authority on Labour at Westminster by sacking Shadow Chief Whip Rosie Winterton in a new reshuffle of his top team.

Building on his landslide re-election, the Labour leader axed Winterton and replaced her with former Gordon Brown ally Nick Brown.

Rui Vieira/PA Archive
Jon Ashworth has been appointed shadow health secretary

Corbyn made Diane Abbott his new Shadow Home Secretary, replacing the outgoing Andy Burnham. Shami Chakrabarti will be the new Shadow Attorney General. Keir Starmer has been appointed Shadow Brexit Secretary.

In a further display of his authority, Corbyn moved Clive Lewis - his pro-Trident Shadow Defence Secretary - to Shadow Business. He was replaced by anti-Trident Nia Griffiths.

Sarah Champion is the new Shadow Women and Equalities Minister and Jo Stevens the Shadow Welsh Secretary.

Dawn Butler was given the newly-created post of Shadow Black and Minority Ethnic Communities Minister. Jon Trickett becomes the new Shadow Commons Leader.

The five most senior posts in Labour - leader, Shadow Chancellor, Shadow Foreign Secretary, Shadow Brexit Secretary and Shadow Home Secretary - are all from London constituencies.

Suggest a correction