SIR Keir Starmer is set to launch a cabinet reshuffle today as Labour MPs brand him a “coward” for firing Angela Rayner.
As the party is embroiled in a civil war, “King of the North” Andy Burnham slammed the news Ms Rayner had been sacked as chairman of the party.
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The newly re-elected mayor of Greater Manchester said “I can’t support this”, as the campaigns co-ordinator was unceremoniously dismissed from office.
And Liverpool MP Kim Johnson said the sacking was “an appalling act of cowardice”.
Former Home Secretary Diane Abbott slammed it as “baffling”, adding “we’ve not heard anywhere in the country people saying they didn’t vote Labour because of Angela Rayner”.
Ms Rayner’s opponents in the party leaked details of her use of first-class rail tickets to the Sunday Times, with allies claiming it was for safety reasons.
But it is a sign of war within the party, with rumours swirling that shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds is next to go – as Sir Keir plans a cabinet switch up today.
Labour MPs have begun to turn on Sir Keir as others appear to be getting the blame for key losses in former strongholds.
Senior leftwing members told their leader to “look in a mirror”, with an adviser telling the Telegraph: “He seems out of control of himself. He seems to have lost any semblance of how to manage a political party, which is very similar to how Iain Duncan Smith became in the last days of his leadership.
“He is swinging like a punch drunk boxer on Saturday night.”
It comes after Sir Keir said he would personally take the blame for the election failings.
As well as undertaking a reshuffle, the former director of public prosecutions has also hired Gordon Brown’s former chief pollster Deborah Mattinson – who has written a book about why Labour lost the so-called “red wall” at the 2019 general election – as director of strategy.
Boris Johnson spanked Sir Keir Starmer in “Super Thursday’s” elections — seizing the Red Wall jewel of Hartlepool and demolishing Labour across the country.
The humiliated leftie boss took “full responsibility” for the “bitterly disappointing” results as he desperately scrambled to save his leadership and party from extinction.
In an interview with Sky, Mr Burnham said he might have another go at becoming leader of the Labour party.
He said: “I feel I am in the best job in the world and we have a massive job ahead of us but I’m here to help the Labour Party if they need it – but they need to change, let’s be really clear about this.
“They have lost an emotional connection with parts of the country that is going to take a lot of work to get back, so I think the party has to do a lot of soul-searching about these results and understand why we have done well in Wales, places like Greater Manchester, and it really needs to then buy in to English devolution and build from the bottom up – that’s what these results are telling them.”
Breaking his silence hours after the bombshell Hartlepool defeat, Sir Keir admitted he had failed to “connect” with voters.
He added the “bitterly disappointing” defeats show Labour is hopelessly out of touch with working-class Brits.
But he denied the party is facing a life or death battle for survival.
Sir Keir said the party must stop “quarrelling” and tell Britons what it stands for.
He said: “The Labour Party has to rise to the challenge of reconnecting with working people.”