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To those of us habituated to the Conservative Party’s modus operandi – “absolute monarchy, moderated by genocide” – the internal machinations of the Labour Party make for a fascinating spectacle.

Yesterday’s Shadow Cabinet reshuffle is a case in point. It appears to have been sprung upon Angela Rayner, the deputy leader, as a complete surprise, cutting straight across her most recent effort to go after the Tories over the Owen Paterson fiasco.

One has to sympathise with Sir Keir Starmer, who has been lumbered by his party’s self-indulgent internal arrangements with a senior colleague with whom he is not in sympathy but whom he cannot sack  Perhaps, in that position, freezing her out and trying to isolate her on a more right-wing shadow cabinet makes sense.

But every reaction provokes a counter-reaction. Even if Rayner doesn’t wreak an immediate vengeance, the leader will have to be watchful, and more of Labour’s guns will remained trained on itself rather than the Government.

Nor was this the only strange feature. It was interesting, for example, to see rumours that Emily Thornberry might get the Home Office brief met briefing from Labour sources about putting an ‘Islington lawyer’ in charge of immigration. That’s an attack line CCHQ could have written.

As for the rest of it, it seems a bit of a mixed back. As mentioned above, there does seem to have been a rightward tack and the return to the front bench of ‘big beasts’ such as Yvette Cooper is being taken as evidence that Labour is on a war footing. But this has to be taken alongside the decision to install David Lammy, who has previously compared Brexiteers to Nazis, as Shadow Foreign Secretary in a team that is meant to be about ‘making Brexit work’.

Underlying all of this, though, is the simple fact that this is already the second time Starmer has reorganised the Shadow Cabinet, having already replaced his Shadow Chancellor earlier this year. This might be normal in government but it is less so in opposition, where there is more space to pick good people and give them time to really get to grips with the brief. More evidence that, for all the ‘election-ready’ talk, Labour is still deep in conversation with itself.