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Everything We Know So Far About Jeremy Corbyn's New Shadow Cabinet

The new Labour leader has been criticized for not giving women enough of the top jobs.
September 14, 2015, 6:15pm

Jeremy Corbyn and his mate John McDonnell when they were just Labour back-benchers. Photo by Jack Pasco

This article originally appeared on VICE UK.

Newly elected Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, socialist destroyer of worlds, killer of firstborns, and ruinous lunatic, if David Cameron's social media account is anything to go by, has shaken up the party by choosing his new shadow cabinet.

Among them is John McDonnell, a man who once said he would "swim through vomit" to vote against benefit cuts, appointed as shadow chancellor. He is somewhat of a lightning rod for controversy, saying things like he'd "assassinate Thatcher" if he could travel back in time, and that IRA terrorists should be "honored" at a Bobby Sands memorial.

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It wasn't so long ago that McDonnell and Corbyn were a couple of back-bench stirrers. When VICE interviewed them before the election, McDonnell said "you can't change the world through the Parliamentary system."

Tom Watson, elected deputy leader, is a more contemporary choice. A large figure on social media, Watson was a big player in the inquiry into the phone hacking scandal, which cost many people their jobs after the News of the World was forced to close as a result of it. He is also a prominent voice in trying to tackle what he has called an "epidemic" of historical sex abuse.

Something which many media outlets are picking up on is a distinct lack of women in the party's top positions. Shadow chancellor, home secretary, foreign secretary, and deputy leader are all occupied by men. This is strange, considering Corbyn's stance on wanting "half of MPs to be women," and strong ideas about fixing the gender pay gap and mooting the idea of a women's only train carriage to protect against sexual assault. However it's also strange that nobody's pointing out that, with the full list yet to be announced, Corbyn's team has as many women as the current Conservative cabinet.

Among the women appointed are Angela Eagle as shadow business secretary, Heidi Alexander as shadow health secretary, Dianne Abbott—who lost out on the deputy leader position earlier this year—is shadow international development MP. Shadow chief secretary to the Treasury is Seema Malhotra and former aide to John Prescott Rosie Winterton has been made chief whip.

In a sign that Blairism and old-fashioned hierarchy haven't been completely swept away, Tony's Blair's former flatmate Lord Falconer has been appointed shadow justice secretary.

Your boy David Cameron is currently in Lebanon at a refugee camp, probably telling them why he doesn't want them in Britain, which he's trying to make Great again.