Commenters online can't agree whether Jeremy's Corbyn's shadow cabinet is a milestone or a complete disaster for gender equality.
Corbyn has appointed a 50% female cabinet, but has remained resolutely silent on why there are no women in what are seen by some as the top three jobs.
He walked for 30 seconds in silence on Sunday night, while being repeatedly questioned by journalists.
A Sky News video showed journalists walking alongside Corbyn and quizzing him after he was criticised for the all-male top figures in his cabinet announced last night.
The new Labour leader was slammed by some for giving what are seen as the three top jobs to his ally John McDonnell, who is shadow chancellor; Andy Burnham, who is Labour's new shadow home secretary; and Hilary Benn who remains as shadow foreign secretary.
But the makeup of Corbum's shadow cabinet is around 50% female so far, a fare better ratio than the current cabinet which is about a third female.
It doesn't count as a majority women shadow cabinet if you just make up clearly more junior positions for the women. pic.twitter.com/YjgCU1Ge7m— Anoosh Chakelian (@Anoosh_C) September 14, 2015ADVERTISEMENT
one definitive statement about #corbyncabinet: it's really brought out the 'arsehole' in twitter.— kat himmel (@kathimmel) September 14, 2015
.@MikeGapes told McDonnell is Shad Chancllr "Are u sure about that? ..If that's the case, all the top jobs will be held by men"
Yep. #WstrHr— Paul Waugh (@paulwaugh) September 13, 2015
Labour MP Diana Johnson tweeted that Corbyn's cabinet was disappointing and "#NotForGirls", but others called his shadow cabinet a "historic" moment for women in parliament given that more than half of its members are female.
It was announced after the backlash that Angela Eagle, the new shadow business secretary, will also be shadow first secretary of state, and deputise for Corbyn at Prime Minister's Questions, suggesting that Corbyn is attempting to appease the critics.
But reactions online to the absence of women in top roles were still not positive:
It is so very disappointing - old fashioned male dominated Labour politics in the top positions in Shadow Cabinet #notforgirls— Diana Johnson (@DianaJohnsonMP) September 13, 2015
Jeremy Corbyn's behaviour was quite astounding last night. First day in the job and already he can't defend his own actions. #notforgirls— Suzie Tastic (@suzietastic) September 14, 2015
If Corbyn is seeing to unite the party, excluding women from top jobs is an unusual way to go about it. #reshuffle— Joan Smith (@polblonde) September 13, 2015
Hopefully we'll see a few more women and BAME MPs join #corbyncabinet in coming days.— Cllr Sam Stopp (@CllrStopp) September 13, 2015
More women in top shadow posts would have been a smarter move #corbyncabinet
Yes: Disappointing but please let's give him time— Michael Cubey (@michaelcubey) September 14, 2015
I know prominent Corbynistas who think John McDonnell shouldn't be Shadow Chancellor. Surprised Corbyn of all men didn't give women top jobs— Kevin Maguire (@Kevin_Maguire) September 14, 2015
Corbyn's shadow cabinet confirmed so far is:
- Shadow chancellor - John McDonnell
- Shadow foreign secretary - Hilary Benn
- Shadow home secretary - Andy Burnham
- Shadow business secretary - Angela Eagle
- Shadow health secretary - Heidi Alexander
- Shadow justice secretary - Lord Falconer
- Shadow education secretary - Lucy Powell
- Shadow international development secretary - Diane Abbott
- Shadow chief secretary to the Treasury - Seema Malhotra
- Chief whip - Rosie Winterton
- Shadow Northern Ireland secretary - Vernon Coaker
- Shadow Scottish secretary - Ian Murray
As many people pointed out, while the top jobs hadn't gone to women, around half of Corbyn's cabinet is female:
29% of MPs are women.September 14, 2015
So after all your shrillness, the majority of #corbyncabinet will be women.— Gary Rae (@gary_rae) September 13, 2015
And others said that his shadow cabinet should be judged on its actions, not the gender of its members: