Has Corbyn passed test of authority?

Laura Kuenssberg
Political editor
@bbclaurakon Twitter

image captionJeremy Corbyn watched by Hilary Benn on Tuesday

Reshuffles are a test of leaders' authority. So where did Jeremy Corbyn get his way, and where did he not?

He wanted a new face at defence, and he got one by moving Maria Eagle. That will go some way to neutralising brewing rows over renewing nuclear weapons. And he's made it clear that members of the shadow cabinet will have to, perhaps not toe the party line every moment of every day, but at least not jump all over it on a regular basis.

There may still be more than traditional levels of disagreement, but Mr Corbyn has reintroduced an element of the traditional rule, that if you are in the top team, you more or less keep your disagreements private. He has also increased the number of women in the shadow cabinet.

Where did Mr Corbyn fail to get his way?

He wasn't able to move his big target, Hilary Benn the shadow foreign secretary. Benn has had to agree he will be less public on issues where the two men disagree. Mr Corbyn has caused more concern and more bad feeling in parts of the parliamentary party over how this whole thing has been handled.

There have been elements of what can only be described as pantomime in the last 48 hours. And by sacking Pat McFadden, in part because of his views on terrorism, Mr Corbyn risks an internal row in precisely one of the areas where the Labour leader is already vulnerable.

Overall, Mr Corbyn has disappointed and angered many Labour MPs who already had grave doubts about his ability.

One senior figure, who is not what Corbyn's supporters would consider to be a right-winger out to get him, described it to me as a "total disaster". But he has made some of the changes he wanted to make and tried to assert some authority - in the next few months, the question will be: At what cost.

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