APSCo Public Policy Update: Labour Party Shadow Cabinet Reshuffle
As Parliament returned from summer recess, Labour Leader Keir Starmer announced changes to his Shadow Cabinet team on 4th September, in a highly anticipated reshuffle. The most significant change in Starmer’s Shadow Cabinet saw Labour’s Deputy Leader, Angela Rayner replace Lisa Nandy as Shadow Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and take up the role as Shadow Deputy Prime Minister. We met with Angela’s policy advisor over the summer and are continuing to engage as she’s retained her workers’ rights portfolio.
The changes have seen figures from the ‘right’ of the party come out in prominence, with well-known Blairites such as Pat McFadden, who we met as Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, taking over Rayner’s previous role as Shadow Cabinet Office Minister, and Liz Kendall appointed as Shadow Secretary of State for the Department for Work and Pensions. Darren Jones, to whom we gave evidence on AI and Automation in his role as Chair of the Business and Trade Select Committee, has been promoted to the Shadow Chief Secretary role. His Chair position will need to be filled as a result. Other Shadow Ministers APSCo have developed relationships with, most prominently Bridget Phillipson, Shadow Education Secretary, have kept their jobs.
As the UK moves closer toward election season, McFadden’s role as National Campaigns Coordinator will be crucial and speaks volumes for the type of Labour Government Starmer is looking to lead. Hilary Benn, who was sacked under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership as Shadow Foreign Secretary also marks a significant return as Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary as one of a number of key figures regarded to be on the ‘right’ of the party. Also of note is Starmer’s clear demotion of one-time leadership rival, Lisa Nandy from Shadow Levelling Up Secretary to Shadow International Development Minister – meaning that she is now not even a Shadow Secretary of State although Starmer may reinstate the Department for International Development after the election.
Full list of changes to Starmer’s Shadow Cabinet:
- Angela Rayner appointed as Shadow Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities
- Lisa Nandy appointed as Shadow Secretary of State for International Development
- Shabana Mahmood appointed as Shadow Secretary of State for Justice
- Steve Reed appointed as Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
- Pat McFadden appointed as Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and National Campaign Coordinator
- Liz Kendall appointed as Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
- Jonathan Ashworth appointed as Shadow Paymaster General in the Cabinet Office
- Thangam Debbonaire appointed as Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
- Peter Kyle appointed as Shadow Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
- Darren Jones appointed as the Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury
- Nick Thomas-Symonds appointed as Shadow Minister in the Cabinet Office
- Lucy Powell appointed as Shadow Leader of the House of Commons
- Hilary Benn appointed as Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
- Ellie Reeves appointed as Deputy National Campaigns Coordinator