New Labour leader Keir Starmer overhauls shadow cabinet

Labour’s new leader has handed a top job to one of his rivals in the contest, as he unveiled a radically different shadow cabinet.

Sir Keir Starmer appointed Lisa Nandy shadow foreign secretary, a rocketing rise from the Wigan MP’s previous role as a backbencher.

He also gave the senior role of chair of the party to Angela Rayner – his deputy who was also elected on Saturday.

Anneliese Dodds, one of Labour’s current Treasury team and a former MEP, will take over from John McDonnell as shadow chancellor.

Other key roles were also handed out to Nick Thomas-Symonds, who steps up from a shadow home office minister to be Priti Patel’s direct opposite number and replaces Diane Abbott.

Rachel Reeves, who was widely tipped for a promotion after her work chairing the business select committee, is set to spar with Michael Gove as the shadow chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

The only person to keep their job so far is Jon Ashworth as shadow health secretary.

In a significant step, Sir Keir has confirmed they will all sit on a shadow coronavirus committee known as “shadow C-19”, to mirror the government’s emergency response one to tackle the crisis.

Emily Thornberry, who was shadow foreign secretary and failed to secure a place in the final Labour leadership ballot, is expected to stay in the shadow cabinet but in a different role.

More junior roles are expected to be announced on Monday.

Some of the names revealed so far will not be familiar to the public, as it has been reported the new Labour leader wanted to show markedly how much of a break he is making from the past five years.

Shadow international trade secretary Barry Gardiner revealed he was sacked from the shadow cabinet – leaving his brief still open during an important time in talks with the EU.

Rebecca Long-Bailey, who came second in the Labour leadership race and served as shadow business secretary, has not been given a role yet.

Sir Keir won the Labour leadership after a three-month election with more than half of all members’ votes – 56.2%.

In his first interview with Sky News since winning the top job, he vowed to put an “unrelenting” focus on winning the next election.

In a snub to Mr Corbyn, he promised to be different by “demonstrating what an effective opposition looks”.

But he pledged not to score political points over Prime Minister Boris Johnson during the coronavirus crisis.

“What’s important is we support the government where that’s the right thing to do but ask the difficult questions,” he said on Sunday morning.

“I think the government was in a mess over testing last week. They’ve not set a target and our job is to support them in getting to that target.

“But in pointing out mistakes and errors, we hope those mistakes and errors can be put right.”

Source: Read Full Article