Sir Keir Starmer still has more than a month to go until he finds out whether he’s beaten fellow candidates Rebecca Long-Bailey and Lisa Nandy to the top job. However, polling and betting odds show the current shadow Brexit secretary as the clear favourite to win the contest and take over as leader of the Labour Party.
So who could we see in his shadow cabinet?
Sir Keir and his team have repeatedly said he won’t begin making or talking about appointments until after the contest has ended.
A senior member of his team has insisted no decisions have been made, and said Sir Keir is completely focused on winning the contest.
But that hasn’t stopped speculation building as to who we could see in a new shadow cabinet.
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Allies of Sir Keir are calling for a total shake-up of senior staff, with few of Mr Corbyn’s cabinet expected to survive the leadership change.
That said, there have been suggestions that Rebecca Long-Bailey, Sir Keir’s closest rival in the race, could make it into the shadow cabinet.
There is a desire to bridge the gap between moderates and the hard-Left, and Mrs Long-Bailey’s appointment could go some way to achieve that.
Sir Keir’s other rival in the race, Lisa Nandy, said on Thursday she would be “proud” to serve in the shadow cabinet of either of her competitors, if offered a role.
Ms Nandy resigned from the Labour frontbench and the shadow cabinet in the wake of the 2016 EU referendum as she and other Labour moderates criticised Mr Corbyn’s leadership.
She has been a backbench MP ever since, but appears to now be lining up a return to frontbench politics.
Other senior MPs tipped for a prominent role under Sir Keir include Yvette Cooper and Rachel Reeves.
The biggest rumoured appointment so far has been former Labour leader Ed Miliband.
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According to the Telegraph, a prominent Labour figure said Sir Keir’s campaign team “highly rated” Mr Miliband, who they called a “giant on strategy”.
The source said: “He genuinely is quite a giant on strategy and he’s a big figure.
“He is a big backer of Keir and is well respected within the party.”
However, others signalled that Mr Miliband could be offered a less prominent frontbench role.
There are some concerns about having two male figures at the top of the party, with Labour the only major party never to have elected a female leader.
If Mr Miliband was selected to take over from John McDonnell, it would be the first time he returned to the frontbench since he stepped down as leader after 2015’s electoral defeat.
An ally of Sir Keir said: “What [Sir Keir] has made clear that he wants to build a broad-based team founded on talent.
“He will obviously have to balance gender, politics, and geography as you’d expect.
“But one thing he’s always tried to impress is that you want people who are capable.
“What he wants is when people hear a Labour voice on the airwaves they sound credible.”
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