Corbyn and Chakrabarti
Corbyn has defended his decision to nominate Chakrabarti for a peerage, hailing her as 'brilliant' and 'fiercely independent'Jeff J Mitchell/Getty

Media reports have speculated whether Shami Chakrabarti could be appointed to Jeremy Corbyn's frontbench after a Corbyn aide refused to rule out the possibility. The human rights campaigner has been at the centre of an honours storm after the Labour leader nominated her for a peerage shortly after her report into anti-Semitism within Labour cleared the party of institutional prejudice.

Critics described the report as a "whitewash" after it concluded that the Labour Party was "not overrun" by anti-Semitism, despite an "occasionally toxic atmosphere". Speaking to Sky News, a spokesperson for Corbyn did not deny that Chakrabarti could still be asked to serve in his shadow justice team after a number of resignations.

The aide said: "There are vacancies. It is not something that's being discussed at the moment, but I can't rule it out."

The aide's refusal to rule out Chakrabarti comes a day after the Labour Party's deputy leader, Tom Watson, said it had been a "mistake" for the party to nominate Chakrabarti for a peerage at this time and confirmed that he had not been consulted about the move.

He told BBC's Radio 4: "The timing is not great for the Labour Party. I do think it's a mistake because I don't agree with resignation honours. I think Labour should be very clear that this is a discretionary power that should be removed from outgoing prime ministers. I don't want laws to be made in the chamber of David Cameron's friends."

Despite a number of Jewish groups questioning Chakrabarti's nomination for peerage so soon after she chaired the anti-Seminism inquiry, Corbyn has defended his decision and hailed the human rights campaigner, and former director of Liberty, as "brilliant" and "fiercely independent".

On 4 August, Chief Rabbi Mirvis issued a statement saying that Chakrabati's report would lose its credibility if she accepted the peerage. In July, when Chakrabati was asked whether she would accept a peerage, she refused to comment on the matter.

Chakrabati said at the time: "I don't know whether I want to talk about my future ambitions… You can ask the question but I'm going to evade it at this point."