New Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer unveils shadow cabinet

The team sees familiar faces return after a long frontbench absence, some promotions, a few shuffles and a first crack at a frontbench job for others.

Monday, 6th April 2020, 4:36 pm
Updated Wednesday, 8th April 2020, 11:43 am
Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer

After the new Labour leader unveiled his appointments for the top posts on Sunday, a process which included announcing Wigan MP Lisa Nandy as shadow foreign secretary,former party leader Ed Miliband's presence as shadow business secretary was arguably the most notable name among the new list revealed on Monday.

Mr Miliband spent five years at the helm of Labour until 2015 and also served as energy and climate change secretary in the government of Gordon Brown.

He has continued to display a keen interest in climate change matters from the backbenches.

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The role seems a natural fit for Mr Miliband as Business Secretary Alok Sharma is responsible for tackling climate change and is officially minister for COP 26 - the United Nations climate change conference to be held in the UK.

David Lammy held ministerial posts under Tony Blair and Mr Brown and now makes a return after 10 years to a frontbench position as shadow justice secretary.

Bridget Phillipson, the new shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, takes on her first major role having previously served as a whip in the time of Mr Miliband.

She was clear in her pro-EU views and critical of the party's approach to Brexit under Jeremy Corbyn's leadership.

Ian Murray is back as shadow Scottish secretary following his deputy leadership bid.

He last served in the role in June 2016, a time similar to now as he is the only Labour MP representing a constituency north of the border.

Thangam Debbonaire moves from the whips' office to become shadow housing secretary and Rosena Allin-Khan follows her strong deputy leadership bid with a place as shadow mental health minister, notable given her ongoing work as an A&E doctor.

John Healey leaves his housing brief to replace Nia Griffith as shadow defence secretary, who in turn is now shadow Welsh secretary for a second time.

Steve Reed is promoted from his junior shadow education role to become shadow communities secretary, and succeeds Andrew Gwynne who announced he is planning to recharge his batteries on the backbenches following a difficult election campaign.

Emily Thornberry re-emerges as shadow international trade secretary, replacing Barry Gardiner.

This is likely to set up some highly watchable questions sessions with her counterpart Liz Truss, and Ms Thornberry previously held the post of shadow foreign secretary - now a role for leadership contender Ms Nandy.

Rebecca Long-Bailey, another leadership hopeful defeated by Sir Keir, moves from business to become shadow education secretary - replacing her friend and flatmate Angela Rayner, the new deputy leader and chairwoman of the party.

Jo Stevens returns as shadow culture secretary having previously last appeared on the Labour frontbench as shadow Welsh secretary in January 2017.

Preet Kaur Gill is promoted to shadow international development secretary, replacing Corbyn loyalist Dan Carden - who she served under as a junior shadow minister.

Jim McMahon is promoted from his shadow communities post to shadow transport secretary while Andy McDonald moves from that role to become shadow employment rights and protections secretary

Marsha de Cordova is the new shadow women and equalities secretary, moving from her shadow work and pensions ministerial role.

Louise Haigh becomes interim shadow Northern Ireland secretary after a series of confident displays at the despatch box in her shadow Home Office role.

Tony Lloyd is currently in hospital being treated for coronavirus.

Those remaining in post include Luke Pollard as shadow environment secretary, Cat Smith as shadow minister for young people and voter engagement, and Valerie Vaz as shadow Commons leader.

In the Lords, Baroness Chakrabarti is another Corbyn backer to lose out as she is replaced as shadow attorney general by Lord Falconer of Thoroton - formerly justice secretary for a period under Mr Blair.

Baroness Smith of Basildon continues as shadow leader and Lord McAvoy as opposition chief whip.