MP Sir Chris Bryant, the outspoken chairman of Parliament’s standards watchdog, has joined Labour’s frontbench as part of Keir Starmer’s latest shadow cabinet reshuffle.
Today, Sir Keir Starmer appointed Sir Chris as shadow minister for creative industries and digital.
The promotion means that Bryant will have to resign as chair of the Commons Standards Committee, which scrutinises the behaviour of MPs.
The Labour reshuffle started on Monday this week as MPs returned from a summer break.
The former Church of England clergyman earned the nickname Captain Underpants after a photograph of himself along with sexually explicit messages sent through a gay website was leaked in the British press.
The image of Mr Bryant showed him apparently taking a picture of himself in a bathroom mirror, wearing only a pair of Y-fronts.
Bryant later offered an apology for the snaps, although he did not commit any illegal act in taking or sending them.
With the Labour Party becoming ever more confident of victory at the next General Election – mostly due to Tory infighting and a decline in public support for the government under Rishi Sunak – Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner was officially named ‘Shadow Deputy Prime Minister’ as part of the reshuffle.
Rayner, the MP for Ashton-under-Lyne, already had a wide range of roles, believed to have been handed to her to appease far-left Corbyn supporters after Keir Starmer took over as the leader of the Labour Party. Starmer had in fact sacked Rayner as Party Chair in 2021 following Labour’s dismal defeat in the Hartlepool by-election – but was pressured into handed her a bizarre cocktail of promotions.
She served as shadow minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, shadow secretary of state for the future of work, and deputy leader of the official Opposition, alongside her role as deputy Labour leader.
Earlier in the month we reported that Starmer was planning to reshuffle his opposition cabinet in the run-up to next year’s general election.
Addressing this, Rayner told the BBC: “The important thing is that I will be the deputy prime minister and I will be the deputy leader of the Labour Party, so actually the important job is around supporting Keir as the leader.”
“To me, the important job is getting into Government and then delivering, and wherever that is and however I use my skills within that, I am happy to do that.
“It is an absolute honour and a privilege to be an MP for my constituency, and to be on the front bench, and to do the job I am doing, and to be His Majesty’s Government would be an incredible honour, and I take that seriously and would do whatever it takes to improve the lives of British people in whatever role that is.”
A full list of Starmer’s new shadow cabinet can be read here.