Emily Thornberry “sorry and surprised” at Keir Starmer cabinet snub

8 July 2024, 12:25

Emily Thornberry, Labour MP for Islington South and Finsbury was again re-elected with 53.7% of the vote at the UK 2024 General Election.
Emily Thornberry, Labour MP for Islington South and Finsbury was again re-elected with 53.7% of the vote at the UK 2024 General Election. Picture: Alamy

By Henry Moore

Emily Thornberry has broken her silence after new prime minister Sir Keir Starmer chose not to give the long-serving MP a spot on his front bench.

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Despite working for over eight years as shadow attorney general, Sir Keir decided not to give the Islington South MP a role in Government.

Instead, Richard Hermer KC was made a life peer and granted the role.

Posting her reaction on X, formerly known as Twitter, Thornberry said: “After eight-and-a-half unbroken years in the shadow cabinet, a longer record of service than anyone else in that time, I have always worked my hardest to keep the Labour Party united, support our candidates across the country, take the fight to the Tories, and put a positive case to the British people about what we would do differently.

“I am very sorry and surprised not to be able to continue that work in government, but I wish all my brilliant colleagues well, and I know that Richard Hermer KC - a much more accomplished lawyer than I could ever hope to be - will do an outstanding job as attorney general.

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“Nothing in the personal disappointment I feel can detract from the amazing and historic victory that all of us in the Labour movement worked together to win last week.”

Prime Minister Keir Starmer talks to members of the media after meeting Scottish First Minister and SNP leader John Swinney.
Prime Minister Keir Starmer talks to members of the media after meeting Scottish First Minister and SNP leader John Swinney. Picture: Alamy

However, the north London MP did suggest she may still play a role in Labour’s newly formed government.

She said: “I will continue giving my unstinting loyalty to our prime minister, Keir Starmer ... as I have done since he became leader, and I look forward to supporting his government in every way I can in the years to come.”

Keir Starmer made a string of cabinet appointments over the weekend, following Labour’s storming victory in the General Election.

As expected, David Lammy was named Foreign Secretary, while Wes Streeting became Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and Angela Rayner took on the role of Housing Secretary.

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