Labour leader Keir Starmer, centre, with Jenny Chapman, right (Image: REUTERS)

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Labour leader Keir Starmer has sacked his top aide Jenny Chapman as a major shake-up of his top team continues.

The move follows sustained criticism of his political secretary from MPs and the leader's decision to move his chief of staff Morgan McSweeney into a strategic role planning elections.

Labour peer Ms Chapman, who lost her Darlington seat in 2019, will move into the shadow Cabinet and take responsibility for Brexit, opposing Lord Frost.

It is part of a major overhaul of Mr Starmer's most senior staff, which includes the exit of communications director Ben Nunn and deputy Paul Ovenden.

It has been a difficult six months for Labour as Boris Johnson's Conservatives continue to poll well amid the Covid pandemic.

The party's resounding defeat in the Hartlepool by-election sparked a mini-reshuffle, which saw deputy leader Angela Rayner moved from her role as elections chief to hold a number of shadow Cabinet positions.

Shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds was also moved to become party chair, leading Labour's policy review.

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Following a poor performance in the Chesham and Amersham by-election, in which Mr Starmer's party secured just 622 votes, Labour faces another by-election challenge in Batley and Spen on July 1.

It is thought the leader will use the vote as a reset moment and an opportunity to announce a number of appointments to his top team.

When contacted by the Mirror about Ms Chapman's replacement, the Labour Party said it would not comment on staffing matters.