Belfast Telegraph

Corbyn to keep 'top team' if they win election

By Andrew Woodcock

Jeremy Corbyn has indicated that his "top team" of John McDonnell, Diane Abbott and Emily Thornberry will keep their briefs in a Labour cabinet if he wins next week's General Election.

The Labour leader said he would form a "diverse" cabinet representing different wings of the party, but made clear that his shadow chancellor, shadow home secretary and shadow foreign secretary would move up into the top jobs in his ministerial team.

The move was criticised by Tory Culture Secretary Karen Bradley, who said: "Mr Corbyn has confirmed he'll appoint a Marxist as chancellor, a home secretary who wants to scrap MI5, and a foreign secretary who mocks the English flag."

Mr Corbyn's comments came after Ms Thornberry revealed that Labour will seek to implement its programme as a minority administration if it comes out of the June 8 General Election as the largest party in a hung parliament.

Answering questions during a visit to Basildon, the shadow foreign secretary said: "If we end up in a position where we are in a minority, we will go ahead and we will put forward a Queen's Speech and a Budget.

"If people want to vote for it, then good. If they don't want to vote for it, they are going to have to go back and speak to their constituents and explain to them why it is that we have a Tory government instead.

"If we are the largest party we go ahead - no deals - with our manifesto, our Budget and our Queen's Speech."

Her comments amount to the firmest rejection yet of Conservative claims that Mr Corbyn would form a "coalition of chaos," with the Scottish National Party, Liberal Democrats or Greens.

The prospect of a hung parliament has been forced to the forefront of the debate by a series of YouGov polls suggesting Labour is within three points of overhauling Theresa May's Conservatives, who started the campaign with an opinion poll advantage of as much as 25 points.

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