Pedro Sánchez with Adrian Lastrax. / EFE (FILE PHOTO)

Reshuffle at top of Socialist PSOE party as Sánchez moves to strengthen his control

In a separate move, the Attorney General, Spain's chief prosecutor, is stepping down, to be replaced by her number two


There were several changes at the top of the ruling PSOE Socialist Party this week as Pedro Sánchez sought to tighten his control. T

he moves follow months of waning support for his government and tensions with his junior coalition partners, Unidas Podemos.

On Monday this week, the resignation of the number two in the party, Adriana Lastra, appeared to come as little surprise to most.

Lastra, a key figure in setting party strategy, said she was going as she wanted to focus on her pregnancy. However, Sánchez was known to blame her for a bad PSOE defeat in Andalusian elections in June.

Taking on the number two role now will be Finance minister, María Jesús Montero, but she will not act as main party spokesperson as Lastra did.

Separately, the role of leader of the parliamentary party will now be given to Patxi López, a respected party grandee and former president of the Basque Region.

In addition to the changes at the top of the PSOE political party, Spain's Attorney General, who is chief prosecutor, has stepped down.

Dolores Delgado will be replaced by Álvaro García Ortiz, her number two. Both are active in the PSOE and close to Sánchez, and the committee of judges who approved the appointment was split in its support for them.

In an unrelated move, the European Commission recently urged Spain to reform the role of Attorney General to make it more independent of political influence.