Shami Chakrabarti appointed to Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet

Shami Chakrabarti appointed to Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet

The former director of Liberty who was made a life peer by the Labour leader will be the new shadow attorney general

Shami Chakrabarti
Shami Chakrabarti

Shami Chakrabarti, the former Liberty director who carried out a controversial investigation into anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, has been appointed to the shadow cabinet.

Baroness Chakrabarti, who was made a life peer by Jeremy Corbyn after her report was published, is to be the new shadow attorney general, the Labour leader announced.

Her appointment as a member of the Lords was met with fierce criticism from prominent Jews and Labour MPs, who questioned her independence.

Chakrabarti has insisted there was “nothing remotely transactional” about her report when pressed if there were any talks about a peerage before it was completed.

Following her appointment, Marie van der Zyl, the vice-president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said: “This ‘whitewash for peerages’ is a scandal that surely raises serious questions about the integrity of Ms Chakrabarti, her inquiry and the Labour leadership.

Mr Corbyn also handed a major promotion to his long-time ally Diane Abbott, making her shadow home secretary, as he began reshuffling his top team in the wake of his leadership victory.

During the Labour anti-Semitism crisis, Diane Abbott was criticised by Charedi rabbi Abraham Pinter for dismissing anti-Semitism allegations as ‘a smear’.

Other appointees include Sir Keir Starmer, the former head of the Crown Prosecution Service, who stormed out of the shadow cabinet in June. Starmer has been invited back as shadow Brexit secretary.

The Labour leader is rebuilding his frontbenches after the mass walk-out of shadow cabinet members who opposed him in the aftermath of the Brexit vote in June.

Dozens of posts were left unfilled, with many Corbyn loyalists “double jobbing” in multiple roles.

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