Jeremy Corbyn has attacked Theresa May’s Cabinet reshuffle, branding it a “pointless and lacklustre PR exercise.”
The Prime Minister’s New Year’s reshuffle follows her party’s poor result at last year’s general election in which the Conservatives lost their majority.
It also comes as Ms May has fielded attacks over her administration’s handling of the NHS winter crisis.
May warned not to tilt to hard Brexiteers with ‘no deal’ minister’
The Labour leader accused Ms May of using the reshuffle to “dodge the real issues”, and said “people are dying because of this Government’s decisions”.
He said: “In 2018, the impact of Tory austerity is hitting home with the public, most tragically with the most serious NHS winter crisis yet. And yet the government’s big plan for the New Year is to dodge the real issues and reshuffle the pack in a pointless and lacklustre PR exercise.
“It’s simply not good enough. You can’t make up for nearly eight years of failure by changing the name of a department.
“Back in the real world, outside Westminster, our health service is on its knees: with patients dying as they wait for ambulances to arrive, ambulances stacking up outside hospitals, and corridors full with trolleys and patients.”
Mr Corybn also took aim at rising rail prices and the Government’s “chaotic Brexit negotiations”.
He said: “We’re not only seeing growing problems across the NHS; the cost of travel is going up; our social security system is being dismantled; our housing crisis has been cruelly exposed by the terrible Grenfell Fire, and by the Conservatives in Windsor who want to sweep rough sleepers from the streets; and the Government’s threat to jobs and living standards from its chaotic Brexit negotiations.”
But yesterday Mr Corbyn was accused of a lack of leadership after rejecting calls to join a cross-party coalition to keep the UK in the single market after Brexit.
Ian Blackford, the SNP’s leader in Wesminster, said it was “utterly pathetic” that Mr Corbyn had rejected the offer.
Last year Mr Corbyn’s own protracted shadow Cabinet reshuffle was the subject of intense scrutiny after mass front bench resignations following the party’s EU referendum campaign.