Starmer unveils new cabinet as he appoints Angela Rayner deputy prime minister and Rachel Reeves as chancellor

5 July 2024, 15:42 | Updated: 5 July 2024, 16:53

Angela Rayner and Rachel Reeves were the first two appointments made to Sir Keir's cabinet.
Angela Rayner and Rachel Reeves were the first two appointments made to Sir Keir's cabinet. Picture: Alamy

By Jenny Medlicott

Sir Keir Starmer has started to announce his new cabinet with Angela Rayner named as deputy prime minister and Rachel Reeves as the UK's first female chancellor.

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In the run up to the election, Sir Keir remained tight lipped about who would be part of his cabinet but did confirm that deputy leader Angela Rayner will be his deputy prime minister.

Ms Rayner was among the raft of Labour MPs to arrive at Number 10 on Friday afternoon ahead of the Prime Minister's cabinet announcement.

Downing Street later confirmed Ms Rayner as the first appointed cabinet member, as she was named as the new deputy prime minister. She will also serve as secretary of state for levelling up, housing and communities.

Shortly after, Rachel Reeves was confirmed as chancellor, becoming the first woman to take the role in British history.

David Lammy was also appointed as foreign secretary, Yvette Cooper as home secretary and John Healey as defence secretary.

Ed Miliband was appointed as secretary of state for energy security and net zero, Bridget Phillipson as education secretary, Wes Streeting as health secretary and Shabana Mahmood as justice secretary.

Read more: General Election LIVE - Britain Decides: Angela Rayner appointed deputy prime minister as PM unveils cabinet

Read more: ‘Now we rebuild Britain’: Triumphant Keir Starmer delivers first speech as Prime Minister as he vows to deliver change

Angela Rayner smiled as she entered Number 10 earlier on Friday.
Angela Rayner smiled as she entered Number 10 earlier on Friday. Picture: Alamy
Rachel Reeves has been appointed as chancellor.
Rachel Reeves has been appointed as chancellor. Picture: Alamy

After an unexpected arrival earlier from veteran Labour MP Pat McFadden at Number 10, he was announced as the new chancellor for the Duchy of Lancaster.

In the next batch of cabinet appointments, Liz Kendall was named as Work and Pensions Secretary, Jonathan Reynolds Business and Trade Secretary and the president of the Board of Trade.

The new Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology is Peter Kyle and Louise Haigh was made Transport Secretary, with all retaining the roles they held in the shadow cabinet.

Britain's first female Chancellor described the appointment as "the honour of my life" and a sign for all women and girls that there should be "no limit to your ambitions."

In a post on X, Rachel Reeves said: "It is the honour of my life to have been appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer.

"Economic growth was the Labour Party's mission. It is now a national mission.

"Let's get to work."

Meanwhile, David Lammy said on X: "It is the honour of my life to be appointed Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs.

"The world faces huge challenges, but we will navigate them with the UK's enormous strengths.

It comes after Sir Keir delivered his first speech as Prime Minister outside Number 10 earlier on Friday.

He vowed to put the “country first, party second” and start work to deliver change “immediately”.

Yvette Cooper was confirmed as home secretary.
Yvette Cooper was confirmed as home secretary. Picture: Alamy

Sir Keir said this afternoon: “We need to move forward together. Now this wound, this lack of trust can only be healed by actions, not words, I know that. But we can make a start today with the simple acknowledgement that public service is a privilege and that your government should treat every single person in this country with respect."

He also made a direct appeal to those who did not vote Labour in Thursday's election, as he added: “We will carry the responsibility of your trust as we rebuild our country. But whether you voted Labour or not, in fact especially if you did not, I say to you directly my government will serve you. Politics can be a force for good, we will show that. We’ve changed the Labour party.”

t comes after Sir Keir declared "we did it" as Labour swept to power following the General Election, as senior Tories including Liz Truss and Jacob Rees-Mogg lost their seats.

Speaking in central London, Prime Minister Keir Starmer said: "We did it. You campaigned for it, you fought for it, you voted for it, and now it has arrived: change begins now."It feels good, I have to be honest. Four and a half years of work changing the party, this is is what it is for: a changed Labour Party ready to serve our country, ready to restore Britain to the service of working people.

"And across our country, people will be waking up to the news, relief that a weight has been lifted, a burden finally removed from the shoulders of this great nation.

"And now we can look forward, walk into the morning, the sunlight of hope, pale at first but getting stronger through the day, shining once again, on a country with the opportunity after 14 years to get its future back."

Keir Starmer gave a speech outside Number 10 earlier on Friday.
Keir Starmer gave a speech outside Number 10 earlier on Friday. Picture: Alamy
Rishi Sunak said he called Sir Keir to congratulate him on the victory.
Rishi Sunak said he called Sir Keir to congratulate him on the victory. Picture: Alamy

Sir Keir's speech came shortly after Rishi Sunak conceded defeat in Richmond, Yorkshire, where he won his seat with a 13,000-seat majority.

"The Labour Party has won this general election, and I have called Sir Keir Starmer to congratulate him on his victory," Mr Sunak said.

The latest results indicate Labour has won more than 400, with the Tories slumping to around around 120, with only two seats left to declare.

Several senior Tories lost their seats in the election, among them former Prime Minister Liz Truss, Defence Secretary Grant Shapps, Education Secretary Gillian Keegan and Leader of the House of Commons Penny Mordaunt.

Veterans Minister Johnny Mercer, Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer, Transport Secretary Mark Harper, Chief Whip Simon Hart, Northern Ireland Minister Steve Baker, Justice Secretary Alex Chalk, former Environment Secretary Therese Coffey and former Brexit Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg also lost their seats.

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