Corbyn reshuffle: End of the new politics?

Shadow cabinet meeting Image copyright PA
Image caption Jeremy Corbyn, pictured chairing his first shadow cabinet meeting

Reshuffles rarely go as planned. Jeremy Corbyn already knows that - his team's first few days in the leader's office were marked by the fallout from a chaotic 24 hours as they struggled to put the shadow cabinet together.

So after a frenetic fortnight of speculation of a "revenge reshuffle" where the leader was alleged to be planning to kick out those who disagreed with him over bombing Syria, what are the prospects of a smoother start to the new parliamentary term?

The leader's team is starting to work the phones this afternoon to put together his new team.

Parliament feels pretty deserted as MPs haven't yet returned from their Christmas break but what can be tortuous conversations are getting under way, with the possibility that the new look team will be announced on Tuesday.

But if Mr Corbyn moves to sack those who have publicly disagreed with him, there's a danger it appears that he's given up on his much vaunted "new politics" - disagreement was meant to be allowed, discussions encouraged in the more grown-up discourse that he promised.

Don't forget, Jeremy Corbyn built his own career by being a serial rebel, voting against his party leader again and again and again.

For him to call for message discipline from the outset might have seemed ludicrous. And given the lack of support he had among Labour MPs, he was determined to try to build a team from all parts of the party to give him credibility in Westminster.

So now, just four months on, if he embarks on dramatic changes, sacks those who have publicly disagreed with him, like the shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn, there's a danger it looks like when his own authority is challenged he just can't take it.

But it's likely, in fact, that the next 24 hours will see fewer of the shadow cabinet shoved out, and more just shuffled around.

Do expect new occupants of the posts of shadow Foreign Secretary and shadow Defence Secretary - in those two areas the tensions over nuclear weapons and military action have proved too much of an embarrassment for Mr Corbyn.

But don't expect a dramatic purge of the shadow cabinet, and any moderates shipped out. Jeremy Corbyn does still want to show he is committed to including a range of views around his top table, and it seems he is not planning for pyrotechnics. But then again, reshuffles rarely go according to plan.

More on this story