Shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn has managed to escape unscathed from the Labour reshuffle and clung onto his post, while Emily Thornberry was appointed the new shadow defence secretary. Her predecessor, Maria Eagle – who favours the renewal of the Trident nuclear deterrent and voted for air strikes in Syria – was moved on to the culture brief by Jeremy Corbyn following the dismissal of Michael Dugher.
The eagerly anticipated news appeared in dribs and drabs throughout the evening and into the early hours of 6 January as the Labour reshuffle entered a third day. Benn's future was under intense scrutiny after he voted to extend British air strikes into Syria and speculation was rife that his removal would have sparked an exodus of Labour frontbenchers.
As part of the reshuffle, the shadow Europe minister, Pat McFadden was sacked for "disloyalty" to the Opposition leader, according to Labour Party sources. He will be replaced by the former junior shadow education minister, Pat Glass. Emma Lewell-Buck is now the shadow minister for devolution and local government.
Speaking after his sacking, McFadden said: "Tonight Mr Corbyn has told me he does not want me to continue to serve on his front bench, in particular because of questions I asked about terrorism and national security in the Commons statement following the Paris terrorist attacks." He added: "It is his prerogative to decide his front bench team and I will continue to support and work for Labour in any way I can."
The Labour MP for Ilford North Wes Streeting, expressed his disappointment at McFadden's dismissal and said he was "gutted" at the news. Meanwhile MP John Woodcock tweeted: "Sad for In campaign and angry – people who know nowt about loyalty smearing one of Labour's finest for 'disloyalty'".
The shadow cabinet now consists of 17 women and 14 men. The eagerly anticipated "revenge reshuffle" ultimately failed to live up to its billing after just two shadow cabinet roles were reshuffled by Jeremy Corbyn.