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Include Mark Drakeford in your shadow cabinet, Labour PR experts tell Keir Starmer

01 Sep 2021 3 minutes Read
Keir Starmer picture by Rwendland (CC BY-SA 4.0). First Minister Mark Drakeford. Picture by the Welsh Government.

PR experts have advised Labour leader Keir Starmer to include Wales’ First Minister, Mark Drakeford, in his shadow cabinet at Westminster.

A Fit for the Future report published by a 1,200-strong network called Labour in Communications says that Keir Starmer should include well-known Labour figures from around the UK, which would also include Manchester and London Mayors Andy Burnham and Sadiq Khan.

The report includes a foreword from former Labour leader and Welsh MP, Neil Kinnock.

“Labour should look to restructure the shadow cabinet and communicate through a leaner group of members to improve the perception and awareness of Labour’s shadow cabinet among the public,” the report says.

“The grouping would effectively operate as a ‘political cabinet’ and would have sole responsibility, as Labour’s dedicated spokespeople, to frame, develop and communicate Labour’s message to the public.”

“To achieve this, Labour’s Shadow Cabinet, and preferably our recommended Political Cabinet, should include figures in power
from across the Labour movement, such as Mark Drakeford, Andy Burnham, Sadiq Khan, Tracey Brabin, Dan Jarvis, Joanne
Anderson and Steve Rotheram.

“A number of these figures are already significantly more popular amongst the public than current members of the Shadow Cabinet and have showcased their ability to connect with the electorate successfully through the political campaigns they have won. As spokespeople, they also have the benefit of being able to point to their own political choices to differentiate themselves – and their policy platforms – from government.

“Ultimately, as the only figures to successfully hold power on a Labour platform, the party owes them the chance to influence our national strategy and the decisions we take in Westminster.

The report adds: “Labour should also look to substantiate their messaging by highlighting the successes of Labour in power across the UK – including in the devolved government in Wales, across England with Labour’s now numerous Metro Mayors, as well as with Labour led-Councils.”

‘Emotion’

The report also lavished praise more broadly on Welsh Labour after they won a majority at the Senedd election in May.

“Wales’s devolved status gave Welsh Labour the opportunity to deviate from Westminster’s pandemic response,” it says.

“It also gave them the space to tell their own story. Communication focused on Wales doing what’s best for Wales. Welsh Labour provides another example of the value of simple, place-based communications that is not afraid to tap into emotion and remain staunchly genuine.”

In his foreword, Neil Kinnock says that Keir Starmer had proven that he had the intelligence, maturity, resilience and courage to deal with the challenge of leading the party.

“At the last General Election, our packed policy platform, our communication style, and — as the evidence shows, the personality that Labour presented — brought rejection,” he says.

“Not for the first time, we have to rebuild, modernise our methods, restore relevance to our message, show that we have deep commitment to our country and communities and practical answers to the demands facing the British people.

“I am certain that we have the energy and determination to achieve that and again win the support that enables Labour to serve the future.”

 

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Cai Wogan Jones
Cai Wogan Jones
24 days ago

Surely, this is a constitutionally illiterate suggestion.

Because of the concept of collective responsibility for cabinet decisions, Drakeford would be bound and shackled by Starmer’s cabinet. This would limit the modest freedom of action he now enjoys under the devolution settlement.

It would also be political suicide for Drakeford to agree to this because he would no longer be able to play the game of trying to distance Welsh Labour from the failing and unpopular mother ship.

William-Glyn THOMAS
William-Glyn THOMAS
24 days ago

Llafur needs to be Independent of English Labour it is a ploy to make you the obedient servant of English Labour. Mark Drakeford deserves better than that.

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
24 days ago

Drakeford is the highest Labour politician in the whole of the UK. It should be the other way around. Starmer only leads a political party, Drakeford leads a country. So why are English Labour making out that Drakeford is beneath that tory wannabe Starmer?

Cat
Cat
24 days ago

This is a story based on a paper produced by a group of Labour members in the communications industry. Can’t see if happening for so many reasons but it does underline an English panic over the increasingly unpopular Keir Starmer.

Quornby
Quornby
24 days ago

Kinnock????? OMG!

Shan Morgain
24 days ago

This purely benefits Westminster Labour and has no benefit for Drakeford and Wales. On the contrary it is dangerous, almost as dangerous as associating with Tories. It would contaminate Drakeford with their messes cowardice and collaboration. For a short time it would boost Westminster Labour but it would reduce Welsh independence by the muzzling effect via the ministerial code – and poisoned and chained the very plus effect they want to annexe would be destroyed. Thankfully I think we can trust our lot to avoid this with characteristically pretty Welsh words.

Elin Owen
24 days ago
Reply to  Shan Morgain

Well, the name Neil Kinnock says it all!

George Bodley
George Bodley
20 days ago
Reply to  Elin Owen

Kinnockio as hes known locally the traitor that started the Blairite style politics and leaving behind true core labour values

George Bodley
George Bodley
20 days ago
Reply to  Shan Morgain

Yeah cer y grafu westminster labour i think i spelt that right ?

Owain Morgan
Owain Morgan
24 days ago

Did Labour actually write in their report that Llafur won a majority of seats in the Senedd 🙄 When they information correct I might actually listen to them 😒

CJPh
CJPh
24 days ago

Hey, Welsh Labour – “The call is coming from inside the house…”

Valerie Matthews
Valerie Matthews
24 days ago

I am pretty sure that Mark is far to canny to fall for this ploy, His actions show he has far superior intelligence and capability than ANYONE in the English Parliament. He is Senior to Starmer, He is in power, Starmer in opposition.

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