Newly elected British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has already caused a stir by choosing the first ever majority female shadow cabinet.
The announcement came earlier today. But according to the BBC, there has been some anger over the fact that many of the traditional “senior roles” were taken all by men.
John McDonnell was appointed as the shadow chancellor (a position most similar with that of America’s Treasury Secretary.) Many have seen this as a controversial appointment due to statements that McDonnell has made in the past.
From the BBC:
“The Hayes and Harlington MP [McDonnell] has previously faced criticism for telling a union event that he would “like to go back to the 1980s and assassinate Thatcher” and in 2003 said IRA terrorists should be “honoured” for taking part in their “armed struggle”, while attending a gathering to commemorate the IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands.”
While Corbyn and his shadow secretaries are not in government, they still have a large role to play in public life- serving as a counterweight to the ruling Conservative Party.
In a press release, Corbyn expressed his excitement of his cabinet.
“We have delivered a unifying, dynamic, inclusive new Shadow Cabinet which for the first time ever has a majority of women,” Corbyn said. “I am delighted that we have established a Shadow Cabinet position for mental health which is a matter I have long been interested in.”
Owen Jones, a well-known media personality and strong Corbyn supporter took to Twitter to express his opinion that Corbyn should put more women in the more powerful shadow cabinet positions.
As well as half Shadow Cabinet being women, women should surely make up half of the big four ministries (PM / Chancellor / Foreign / Home)
— Owen Jones (@OwenJones84) September 13, 2015
Diana Johnson, a Labour MP also criticized the picks.
It is so very disappointing – old fashioned male dominated Labour politics in the top positions in Shadow Cabinet #notforgirls
— Diana Johnson (@DianaJohnsonMP) September 13, 2015
Meanwhile, some Labour MP’s are regretting nominating Corbyn for the leadership ballot in the first place.
Margaret Beckett to @BBCDerby on nominating Corbyn: I probably regard it as one of the biggest political mistakes I’ve ever made
— Ross Hawkins (@rosschawkins) September 14, 2015
You can read the full list of Labour shadow secretaries here.
Cover Photo Credit: DAVID HOLT/Flickr (CC By 2.0)