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By Lord Watson of Wyre Forest
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Who's In The Labour Shadow Cabinet After Keir Starmer's Reshuffle

Keir Starmer pictured with Rachel Reeves and Lucy Powell last year (Alamy)

6 min read

Labour leader Keir Starmer has reshuffled the shadow cabinet, assembling Labour veterans to get his top team into shape ahead of the next general election, due to be called next year.

Speculation has mounted throughout the summer over whether Starmer would make changes to the shadow cabinet in order to reflect recent changes to government departments. The creation of shadow secretaries of state for business and trade, culture, media and sport, and science, innovation and technology better achieve this. 

Other notable appointments include the promotion of deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner as shadow deputy prime minister and shadow levelling up secretary, Darren Jones new position as Shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, and the return of Hilary Benn and Liz Kendall to top roles, as shadow Northern Ireland secretary and shadow work and pensions secretary respectively. 

Speaking after the reshuffle, Starmer said that he is "really pleased" to have "such a strong team on the pitch". 

“My shadow cabinet and I will spend every day until the General Election showing that there is an alternative and that Britain can get its future back,” he said. 

This is how the Labour shadow cabinet now looks, with new appointments in bold: 

  • Keir Starmer – Leader of the opposition.
  • Angela Rayner – Deputy leader (an elected position that she has held since 2020) shadow deputy prime minister and shadow levelling up, housing and communities secretary. Rayner replaces Lisa Nandy.
  • Rachel Reeves – Shadow chancellor. The former Bank of England economist Reeves has been shadow chancellor since 2021. Her emphasis on fiscal responsibility will be a key part of Labour’s pitch for power at the next general election. 
  • Bridget Phillipson – Shadow education secretary. Phillipson has held the role for nearly two years. Reforming the childcare and education systems is one of Starmer’s five pledges for the next election.
  • Yvette Cooper – Shadow home secretary. Cooper has held the job since 2021. She served in Gordon Brown’s government as chief secretary to the Treasury and work and pensions secretary. Making Britain’s streets safe is another of Starmer’s five pledges. 
  • Wes Streeting – Shadow health and social care secretary. How Labour would tackle the crisis in the NHS will be integral to a general election campaign. 
  • Ed Miliband – Shadow energy security and net zero secretary. The former Labour leader is focussed on creating clean energy jobs. 
  • David Lammy – Shadow foreign secretary. Lammy, who served in numerous ministerial positions in the last Labour government has held his current role since 2021. 
  • Pat McFadden – Shadow chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and national campaign coordinator. McFadden will take on the shadow cabinet office role as well as taking charge of Labour’s campaigning activities in the lead up to the next election. He was previously in Reeves’ team as shadow chief secretary to the Treasury. 


  • Nick Thomas-Symonds – Shadow minister without portfolio (Cabinet Office). Moving from his role as shadow trade secretary, the appointment represents his second successive demotion. He was previously shadow home secretary, before being replaced by Cooper. 
  • Jonathan Ashworth – Shadow paymaster general (Cabinet Office). Ashworth replaces Fleur Anderson in the role. He had been shadow work and pensions since 2021. 
  • Shabana MahmoodShadow justice secretary. Mahmood has been promoted from her previous role as national campaign coordinator, which she had held since 2021.
  • Jonathan Reynolds – Shadow business and trade secretary. Reynolds has held the role since 2021 and will continue shadowing Kemi Badenoch in government. 
  • Liz KendallShadow work and pensions secretary. The one-time leadership candidate Kendall has been promoted to shadow a government department, having previously been the shadow social care minister in Streeting’s team. Elected in 2010, Kendall has not served in government, but is considered a stalwart of the centre of the party. 
  • John Healey – Shadow defence secretary. Healey has since Starmer became Labour leader in spring 2020. Following the resignation of Ben Wallace last week, he will shadow new defence secretary Grant Shapps. 
  • Louise Haigh – Shadow transport secretary. The former shadow Northern Ireland secretary Haigh remains in the transport brief she has held since 2021. 
  • Thangam Debbonaire – Shadow culture, media and sport secretary. Debbonaire leaves the role of shadow Commons leader to take on the shadow culture job.
  • Anneliese Dodds – Chair of the Labour Party and shadow women and equalities minister. The former shadow chancellor has held her current roles since 2021. 
  • Steve ReedShadow environment, food and rural affairs secretary. Reed has moved from shadow justice to the environment brief, replacing Jim McMahon who resigned at the start of the reshuffle.  
  • Peter Kyle  Shadow science, innovation and technology secretary. Kyle is the first to take on the shadow science, innovation and technology role following changes made to government departments made earlier this year. He was previously shadow secretary of state for Northern Ireland. 
  • Hilary Benn Shadow Northern Ireland secretary. A cabinet minister under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, Benn has replaced Kyle in the Northern Ireland brief. 
  • Ian Murray  – Shadow Scotland secretary. Labour's only MP in Scotland continues in the role he has held since 2016, under both former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and since 2020, Keir Starmer. 
  •  Jo Stevens – Shadow Wales secretary. Stevens continues to shadow the Wales office, a job she has held since November 2021. 
  • Emily Thornberry – Shadow attorney general. Former barrister Thornberry remains as shadow attorney general, a role she has held since 2021. 
  • Lisa NandyShadow minister for international development. Nandy moves into international development from the levelling up brief, in a move that is considered to be a significant demotion. 
  • Darren Jones  – Shadow chief secretary to the Treasury. Jones has had to resign his role as chair of the Commons business and trade committee, having been promoted to the second most senior job in the shadow Treasury team.
  • Ellie Reeves – Deputy national campaign coordinator. Reeves moves from the justice team, where she had been shadow minister for prisons and probation since 2021, to the deputy campaign coordinator role, where she will work closely with McFadden.
  • Lucy Powell – Shadow leader of the House of Commons. Powell will shadow Penny Mordaunt in the Commons, and remains in the shadow cabinet, having previously been the shadow secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport. 
  • Alan Campbell – Opposition Chief Whip in the House of Commons. Campbell keeps the chief whip job he has had for the last two years. He had been deputy chief whip for more than a decade before that, between 2010 and 2021. 
  • Angela Smith – Shadow Leader of the House of Lords. Baroness Smith of Basildon remains Labour’s leader in the Lords, a job she has had since 2015. 
  • Roy Kennedy – Opposition Chief in the House of Lords. Lord Kennedy of Southwark keeps his position as Labour’s chief whip in the Lords, having been in post since summer 2021. 


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