Tuesday, December 6, 2022

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Why is Starmer shaking up his team when Labor are ahead in the polls?

Sir Keir Starmer has announced a reshuffle of the opposition leader as he puts Labor on a universal electoral basis, although the contest is likely two years away.

The Labor leader has ousted his chief of staff, Sam White. The official reason is that Mr White’s job is being merged with one at Labor headquarters with the election on the horizon, so it’s a smaller role than he took on last year. Politics and communications now fall under the sphere of influence of David Evans, the party’s general secretary. Mr White, a former special adviser to ex-Chancellor Alistair Darling, said: “We part very much as friends with intentions of working together again in the future”.

Labor enjoyed a successful party conference in Liverpool last month, advancing between 20 and 30 points in opinion polls since Kwasi Kwarteng’s disastrous mini-budget. But tensions over strategy do not simmer far below Labor’s calm surface, with a constant battle for the leader’s ear among advisers offering conflicting advice. Mr White was considered overly cautious by some critics; others said he did not professionalize Sir Keir’s operation as the leader had hoped. Some insiders said his departure is about making sure Labor has the best people and not “the nicest guys” in the top posts.

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