Sir Keir names first of his shadow cabinet appointments

Published by Scott Challinor on April 6th 2020, 8:08am

New Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has begun assembling his new shadow cabinet, with his leadership rival Lisa Nandy appointed shadow foreign secretary.

Wigan MP Nandy thanked Sir Keir for the “opportunity to serve”, calling it a “real honour to be tasked with leading Labour's foreign policy response in these difficult times."

Meanwhile, Anneliese Dodds replaces John McDonnell as shadow chancellor – the first woman to take on the role - and Nick Thomas-Symonds has assumed the role of shadow home secretary in place of Diane Abbott.

Sir Keir and Angela Rayner were named the new leader and deputy leader of the Labour Party on Saturday. Rayner will also take over Ian Lavery’s role as party chair.

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Sir Keir has kept faith with Jonathan Ashworth as shadow health secretary, while Rachel Reeves has been elevated to the role of shadow chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

Emily Thornberry will remain in the shadow cabinet despite relinquishing her former role of shadow foreign secretary, but her new position has not yet been confirmed. The position of shadow international trade secretary is now vacant, however, after Barry Gardiner was sacked.

Nick Brown has been re-appointed chief whip, while Angela Smith keeps her role as shadow leader of the House of Lords.

A new shadow committee will be established by Sir Keir’s team to help draw up a party response to the Covid-19 crisis.

Sir Keir said: "We are living through a national emergency.

"Under my leadership, the Labour Party will always act in the country's interest to save lives and protect livelihoods.

"That will be the number one priority of my shadow cabinet."

Sir Keir added that he and his team would provide "responsible opposition" which "supports the government where we believe they are right" and "challenges them when we believe mistakes are being made".

Further shadow cabinet appointments are expected to be announced this week.

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Authored By

Scott Challinor
Business Editor
April 6th 2020, 8:08am

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