Labour reshuffle: David Lammy promoted to shadow foreign secretary

29 November 2021, 19:56 | Updated: 29 November 2021, 21:49

David Lammy has earned a big promotion in the shadow cabinet
David Lammy has earned a big promotion in the shadow cabinet. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Labour has revealed its reshuffled shadow cabinet, with surprise changes to its top team, including David Lammy being promoted to shadow foreign secretary.

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Meanwhile, Wes Streeting is taking on the key role as shadow health secretary, replacing Jonathan Ashworth who has held the position since 2016.

Yvette Cooper has also been promoted to shadow home secretary, saying she was "looking forward to getting to work".

Lisa Nandy has moved from her role as shadow foreign secretary to become shadow secretary of state for levelling up, set to take on Michael Gove.

Former leader Ed Miliband has been taken out of the business brief and will instead focus on climate change and net zero targets.

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The full shadow cabinet list is:

  • Deputy Leader, Shadow First Secretary of State, Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Shadow Secretary of State for the Future of Work: Angela Rayner
  • Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer: Rachel Reeves
  • Shadow Secretary of State for Business and Industrial Strategy: Jonathan Reynolds
  • Shadow Secretary of State of Climate Change and Net Zero: Ed Miliband
  • Shadow Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing, Communities & Local Government: Lisa Nandy
  • Shadow Secretary of State for Defence: John Healey
  • Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport: Lucy Powell
  • Shadow Secretary of State for Education: Bridget Phillipson
  • Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Jim McMahon
  • Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Affairs: David Lammy
  • Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care: Wes Streeting
  • Shadow Secretary of State for the Home Department: Yvette Cooper
  • Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade: Nick Thomas-Symonds
  • Shadow Minister of State at the Cabinet Office: Jenny Chapman
  • Shadow Secretary of State for Justice: Steve Reed
  • Shadow Secretary of State for Transport: Louise Haigh
  • Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, Party Chair and Chair of Labour Policy Review: Anneliese Dodds
  • Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions: Jonathan Ashworth
  • Shadow Attorney General: Emily Thornberry
  • Shadow Cabinet Minister for Mental Health: Rosena Allin-Khan
  • Shadow Cabinet Minister for International Development: Preet Gill
  • Shadow Chief Secretary to HM Treasury: Pat McFadden
  • Shadow Secretary of State for Wales: Jo Stevens
  • Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland: Ian Murray
  • Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland: Peter Kyle
  • National Campaign Coordinator: Shabana Mahmood
  • Shadow Leader of the House of Commons: Thangam Debbonaire
  • Shadow Chief Whip: Alan Campbell
  • Shadow Leader of the House of Lords: Angela Smith
  • Opposition Chief Whip in the House: Roy Kennedy

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: "The Labour Party I lead is focused on the priorities of the country. With this reshuffle, we are a smaller, more focused Shadow Cabinet that mirrors the shape of the Government we are shadowing.

"We must hold the Conservative Government to account on behalf of the public and demonstrate that we are the right choice to form the next Government.

"I'm particularly delighted that Lisa Nandy will take on the vital role of shadowing Michael Gove and leading on the levelling up agenda. After 11 years of Conservative mismanagement of our economy, delivering prosperity to all regions and nations in the UK will be a defining mission of the next Labour Government, and there will be nobody better than Lisa to lead this work."

Sir Keir also hailed Mr Miliband, whose focus is far narrower now than his shadow business secretary job.

The conciliatory tone follows his apparent blindsiding of deputy leader Angela Rayner, who was giving a speech on standards as word of the reshuffle got out.

Sir Keir said: "Climate change is the most important issue facing this country over the next decade. Ed Miliband will lead in the Shadow Cabinet to develop Labour's extensive plans for net zero in a first term Labour Government, and hold the Government to account for its failure to take action.

"Ed has a proven track record in Government, and is a powerful, internationally well respected voice on the issue, and that's why I am delighted he has agreed to lead on this."

Following the announcement, Mr Miliband tweeted: "As Labour’s new shadow secretary of state of climate change and net zero I will lead Labour’s Green New Deal, transforming our energy system, leading the allocation of our Climate Investment Pledge, and delivering a net zero industrial strategy.

"I came back to frontline politics because tackling the climate emergency is the most important issue we face.

"We need a Labour Government with a dedicated department to decarbonise our economy and deliver climate justice and economic justice together. That’s the work I’ll lead."

Read more: Ed Miliband: COP26 needs to be a 'global embarrassment mechanism'

Speaking about Nick Thomas-Symonds' new role, Sir Keir said: "Make Brexit Work is huge part of my agenda and that’s why I've asked Nick Thomas-Symonds to be in charge at International Trade and lead a Shadow Cabinet committee to deliver this crucial work.

"I want to thank all those who have left the Shadow Cabinet today for their great service to me and to our party. I look forward to working with the new team to show we are once again a serious party of Government, ready to fix the mess the Tories have got the country into and to inspire voters to believe that Britain’s best days are ahead of us."

Mr Thomas-Symonds said he looked forward to "building on" work for international trade.

"It’s been a privilege to serve as shadow home secretary and I wish Yvette Cooper well," he said. "I’m proud to be asked to serve as shadow secretary of state for international trade building on Emily Thornberry’s great work and leading the 'Make Brexit Work' agenda for the Shadow Cabinet."

Having moved to shadow pensions secretary, Jonathan Ashworth said it had been an "immense privilege" being health secretary but was ready for a "new challenge".

"I'm excited to be taking on the shadow work and pensions secretary brief," he said.

"With child poverty rising, in-work poverty endemic, lack of meaningful support for people with disabilities, and often a raw deal for pensioners, this is a huge agenda and Labour will lead the campaign.

"It's been an immense privilege to serve the nation as shadow health secretary these last two years of the pandemic. But in September I passed Robin Cook's 87-92 record and became the longest serving Labour shadow health secretary in history. It's right moment for new challenge!

"Thank you to all the extraordinary NHS, social care, medical science staff and patients who have inspired me so much these last five years.

"I'm hugely confident Wes Streeting will be a superb and worthy successor and be as proud as I was to be Labour's health spokesperson."