Newcastle East MP Nick Brown has been sacked from his role as chief whip as Labour leader Keir Starmer took the knife to his top team following disastrous election results.

The 70-year-old, a veteran of Blair and Brown Governments, has been ousted and replaced by Sir Alan Campbell.

A spokesman for Mr Brown insisted it was on good terms, saying: "Nick thinks it’s a reasonable time for Nick to move on. He and Keir have parted on good terms, with mutual respect.

"He wishes Keir and the new Chief Whip every success."

Anneliese Dodds is another casualty after being sacked as Shadow Chancellor after just a year in the role.

Shadow Cabinet Office Minister Rachel Reeves is tipped to fill the vacancy, reports The Mirror.

Ms Dodds, who faced months of grumblings about her performance, was expected to be demoted to become party chairwoman.

But party boss Mr Starmer was forced to scale back his planned Shadow Cabinet reshuffle as some frontbenchers staged a revolt, faced with taking lesser posts or quitting altogether rather than face the humiliation.

Rachel Reeves will be the new Shadow Chancellor
Rachel Reeves will be the new Shadow Chancellor

A day of drama and confusion unfolded after he sacked his deputy Angela Rayner from the crucial role of party chairwoman late on Saturday – only for another member of the frontbench to claim the next morning she had in fact been promoted.

A Shadow Cabinet source said Mrs Rayner was in "a position of real strength now" as negotiations about her role dragged on.

It was expected she would be given Ms Reeves' job as Shadow Cabinet Office Minister, with an expanded role focusing on the future of work.

Lisa Nandy was set to remain in the Shadow Foreign Secretary role and Jonathan Ashworth was expected to stay at health.

Shadow Education Secretary Kate Green had been among those whose positions were said to be under threat. But the reshuffle was less ambitious than originally planned.

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Mr Starmer apparently sacked his deputy Angela Rayner from her role as party chairwoman late on Saturday, only for his Shadow Scottish Secretary Ian Murray to say this morning that she had, in fact, been promoted.

Mr Starmer and his closest advisers began expecting to execute a brutal round of sackings following Labour's disastrous results in Thursday’s elections. But by mid-afternoon they were floundering as the shake-up stalled.

Asked if they knew what was going on, one Shadow Cabinet Minister replied: "Not a scooby."

Another Shadow Cabinet source said it was the Leader of the Opposition's office's "mess to clear up".

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer responds after Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a statement in the House of Commons
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has kicked off his shadow cabinet reshuffle

Another source said only "a couple of name tags" would be "moved around the Shadow Cabinet table". The next meeting is due to take place on Monday.

They also said Ms Rayner was in "a position of real strength now" as negotiations about her role dragged on.

Meanwhile, the bookies slashed the odds on Andy Burnham taking over the Labour leadership as the party reeled from its latest ballot box meltdown.

Ladbrokes installed Mr Burnham, the Greater Manchester Metro Mayor, as the 6/1 favourite to succeed Mr Starmer, who was on odds of 4/1 to be ousted before the end of the year.

Mr Burnham, a two-time leadership hopeful who was dubbed "King of the North" last autumn after his stand-off with No 10 over coronavirus funding, fuelled speculation of a bid, saying: “In the distant future, if the party were to feel it needed me, well, I’m here and they should get in touch."

Andy Burnham is the favourite to succeed Mr Starmer as Labour leader
Andy Burnham is the favourite to succeed Mr Starmer as Labour leader

But Mr Burnham, who served as Health Secretary in Gordon Brown’s Government, said: "I’ve been elected as Mayor of Greater Manchester, that is where my focus is.

"I left Westminster politics, I’m not an MP – you have to be an MP to stand for the leader of the Labour Party and I’m not aware the rules have changed. So, no, my focus is here."

Labour lost the Hartlepool by-election, and the mayoral elections in West Midlands, and Tees Valley, Boris Johnson claiming a spectacular “hat-trick”.

Labour victories in the London, Greater Manchester and West of England mayoral contests, and the Welsh Senedd, failed to disguise the bleak overall picture.