Clive Lewis plays down reports he could be made shadow defence secretary

Norwich South Labour MP Clive Lewis. Photo: Steve Adams

Norwich South Labour MP Clive Lewis. Photo: Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams

Norwich MP Clive Lewis has played down rumours he will be elevated to shadow defence secretary in his leader's so-called 'revenge reshuffle'.

National newspaper reports suggest that the novice MP is being considered for the prominent shadow cabinet role.

But Mr Lewis – a key figure Jeremy Corbyn's leadership campaign - said nobody had spoken to him about a potential promotion, suggesting that he would be unlikely to take the job if offered.

'No one has spoken to me about a promotion to the shadow cabinet,' he said. 'That makes this pure speculation as far as I'm concerned. I've been in parliament less than eight months and feel, for now, I can best serve my constituents and party in my current role as a member of the shadow Department for Energy and Climate Change team.

He later told BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme, he would only do the job if Mr Corbyn said it was 'essential' he take it, but said he thought this unlikely.


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Mr Lewis said after Mr Corbyn was elected as leader that he was not seeking even a shadow ministerial role, but he was later given the front bench climate change portfolio.

The Labour leader is widely anticipated to be gearing up to reshuffle his shadow cabinet after a shadow cabinet divide last year over whether to extend air strikes into Syria.

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Shadow defence secretary Maria Eagle and shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn both backed the government in extending air strikes into Syria.

The pair are also at odds with their leader about the renewal of the nuclear deterrent Trident – an issue that is likely to come to a head this year with a Commons vote expected.

Mr Lewis has long been a supporter of the CND – the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

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