• Tuesday, May 21, 2024

HEADLINE STORY

Shabana Mahmood promoted as Starmer reshuffles top Labour team

Lisa Nandy who has been the opposition’s levelling up policy chief is demoted to the role of shadow minister

Shabana Mahmood

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

LABOUR MP Shabana Mahmood said she was honoured to be appointed shadow secretary of state for justice after party leader Sir Keir Starmer carried out a reshuffle on Monday (4).

Days after prime minister Rishi Sunak’s mini reshuffle last week, Sir Keir named Birmingham Ladywood MP Mahmood to the shadow front bench.

“As a former barrister, I know the challenges our justice system is facing – after 13 years of the Conservatives, it is on its knees,” she said on X, formerly Twitter, adding, “Looking forward to getting stuck in! @UKLabour is the party of law & order.”

Labour is way ahead in the opinion polls before next year’s expected national election.

Mahmood, an ally of Sir Keir, was promoted to the justice brief after running successful campaigns.

Lisa Nandy (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

However, Wigan MP Lisa Nandy and Birmingham’s Preet Kaur Gill were among those who were demoted.

Nandy was removed as shadow levelling up secretary and named shadow international development minister, held previously by Gill – the first British Sikh female MP.

Nandy’s father Dipak Nandy is a Kolkata-born academic known for his work in race relations in Britain.

“There is so much potential across our country. But to realise it, we need a government that will spread power and opportunity far more widely,” Nandy said on X.

“That’s what the next Labour government will do, and it’s what ‘All In’ is about,” she added, in reference to the paperback edition of her political book ‘All In’ which is published this month.

Nandy, 44, was one of the leadership contenders who stood against Sir Keir after Labour’s defeat in the 2019 general election with Jeremy Corbyn as the leader. Boris Johnson’s Conservatives won with a landslide of 80 seats, most of them in Labour’s red wall constituencies.

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner was named shadow levelling up secretary, seen as a sign of party poised to be in election mode, ahead of the annual party conference in October.

Gill took to social media to sign off from the shadow cabinet and reiterate her support for Sir Keir’s leadership.

Preet Kaur Gill MP
Preet Kaur Gill MP

“It has been a great privilege to serve as the Shadow Secretary for International Development through a tumultuous few years: a global pandemic that has set the clock back on years of progress, the UK’s disastrous exit from Afghanistan, and Putin’s abhorrent war in Ukraine,” the Birmingham Edgbaston MP tweeted.

“I am proud of our work we have done holding the government to account: over its disastrous decision to abolish DfID and mismanaged aid cuts that have harmed so many lives…It couldn’t be clearer that we need to turf out this rotten, zombie government and put a mission-driven Labour government in power. It is as clear today as it was three years ago when I supported his campaign to be leader, that Keir Starmer is the Prime Minister Britain needs,” she said.

Sri Lankan origin Thangam Debbonaire MP is the new shadow culture secretary.

Tooting MP and shadow mental health minister Dr Rosena Allin Khan resigned from her post and said in a letter to Sir Keir that he made clear there was no space for a mental health portfolio in a Labour Cabinet.

She said on X, “There is still such a long way to go however, to ensure that we get the much needed reform to the Mental Health Act and that patients are safe in inpatient mental health settings.

“I’ll always be a voice for the voiceless.

“I’ll continue to fight for a Labour goverment, to change this country for the better.”

Veteran MP Pat McFadden replaced Mahmood as national campaign coordinator and will shadow the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, and Hilary Benn, who served under former prime minister Tony Blair, becomes Northern Ireland policy chief.

Darren Jones, who won credit for his work on the parliament’s business committee, becomes shadow chief secretary to the Treasury.

Feltham and Heston MP Seema Malhotra retains her brief as Shadow Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Labour Markets.

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