Jeremy Corbyn's allies have said the "great offices of state" are a reflection of the 19th century, amid criticism that no women were appointed to the key shadow cabinet roles.
In a statement published on Facebook, Mr Corbyn's team said: "For Labour our proudest achievement is the creation of NHS. We are the party that delivered comprehensive education. We are the party that founded the Open University, and that established and will defend trade union and employment rights.
"The so-called ‘great offices of state’ as defined in the 19th century reflect an era before women or workers even had the vote, and before Labour had radically changed the state."
It hasn't started well for Jeremy Corbyn, writes Carl Dinnen - but he has the advantage of expectations starting off extremely low.
Newly-elected Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has finalised his shadow cabinet - so who has made the cut?
Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna has left the Shadow Cabinet by mutual agreement, the MP has confirmed.