Ed Miliband RETURNS to Labour's top team

Ed Miliband RETURNS to Labour’s top team as new leader Keir Starmer unveils a new-look shadow cabinet – with a top job for his defeated Corbynista leadership rival Rebecca Long-Bailey

  • Mr Miliband has been brought back as shadow business secretary 
  • Rebecca Long-Bailey handed the shadow education brief – effectively promoted
  • Emily Thornberry, who also ran for leader against Sir Keir, among those demoted 

Former Labour leader Ed Miliband returned to the party’s frontbench today as he was unveiled as part of Sir Keir Starmer’s new-look shadow cabinet.   

Mr Miliband has been brought back as shadow business secretary as Sir Keir announced a second wave of changes after replacing Jeremy Corbyn.

The former party leader replaces Rebecca Long-Bailey after Sir Keir’s main leadership rival was handed the shadow education brief – effectively a promotion. 

Other high profile changes include demoting Emily Thornberry, who also ran for leader against Sir Keir, from shadow foreign secretary to shadow international trade secretary. 

Sir Keir said: ‘I’m proud to have appointed a shadow cabinet that showcases the breadth, depth and talents of the Labour Party.

‘This is a new team that will be relentlessly focused on acting in the national interest to respond to the coronavirus pandemic and rebuilding Labour so that it can win the next election.’

The former party leader – notorious for struggling to eat a bacon sandwich – replaces Rebecca Long-Bailey as shadow business secretary

Sir Keir’s main leadership rival was handed the shadow education brief – effectively a promotion

Mr Burgon, the Leeds East MP, announced on Twitter that the new leader had removed him, after he ran for deputy leader on an unashamedly pro-Corbyn ticket

Mr Miliband said he was ‘looking forward to serving’ in Sir Keir’s new-look team.

The new shadow cabinet:  

 Keir Starmer, Leader of the Opposition

Angela Rayner, deputy Leader and chairwoman of the Labour Party

Anneliese Dodds, shadow chancellor of the exchequer

Lisa Nandy, shadow foreign secretary

Nick Thomas-Symonds, shadow home secretary

Rachel Reeves, shadow chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

David Lammy, shadow justice secretary

John Healey, shadow defence secretary

Ed Miliband, shadow business, energy and industrial secretary

Emily Thornberry, shadow international trade secretary

Jonathan Reynolds, shadow work and pensions secretary

Jonathan Ashworth, shadow secretary of state for health and social care

Rebecca Long-Bailey, shadow education secretary

Jo Stevens, shadow digital, culture, media and sport

Bridget Philipson, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury

Luke Pollard, shadow environment, food and rural affairs secretary

Steve Reed, shadow communities and local government secretary

Thangam Debbonaire, shadow housing secretary

Jim McMahon, shadow transport secretary

Preet Kaur Gill, shadow international development secretary

Louise Haigh, shadow Northern Ireland secretary (interim)

Ian Murray, shadow Scotland secretary

Nia Griffith, shadow Wales secretary

Marsha de Cordova, shadow women and equalities secretary

Andy McDonald, shadow employment rights and protections secretary

Rosena Allin-Khan, shadow minister for mental health

Cat Smith, shadow minister for young people and voter engagement

Lord Falconer, shadow Attorney General

Valerie Vaz, shadow leader of the House

Nick Brown, opposition chief whip

Baroness Smith, shadow leader of the Lords

Lord McAvoy, Lords’ opposition chief whip

‘We must all focus on playing our part in the country’s response to coronavirus, working with Government to help the many businesses and workers who have been so badly hit and need their voice heard.

‘As Keir has said, we cannot go back to business as usual after this crisis. We will need to reshape our economy, addressing the insecurity many millions of workers face.

‘We must also return to climate change as the unavoidable long-term issue of our time, including with a recovery based on providing economic justice through a Green New Deal.’

Long-Bailey, who finished second behind Sir Keir in the Labour leadership contest, said she was ‘delighted’ to be appointed shadow education secretary.

‘In this time of crisis I will do my utmost to ensure that our teaching staff, students and their families receive the support they deserve,’ she tweeted.

‘Never has there been a more important time to fight for a properly funded, accountable, public education service, free at the point of use, from cradle to grave so that all our aspirations can be realised. Social mobility is meaningless if we don’t all rise together.’

In other appointments David Lammy enters the shadow cabinet as shadow justice secretary and Rosena Allin-Khan, who continues to work as a hospital doctor, is shadow minister for mental health.

Former shadow defence secretary Nia Griffiths has also been demoted to shadow Wales secretary, and was replaced in her previous role by John Healey. 

Sir Keir began to fill his frontbench team yesterday following his election on Saturday. 

He installed Annaliese Dodds as shadow chancellor, Nick Thomas-Symonds as shadow home secretary and Lisa Nandy, his leadership rival, as shadow foreign secretary. 

Ms Thornberry today praised her replacement, tweeting: ‘Congratulations and best wishes as well to Lisa Nandy on becoming the new Shadow Foreign Secretary. 

‘It’s a tough role, covering a vast spread of issues, and demanding passionate involvement with them all. 

‘That will play to all of Lisa’s strengths and I know she’ll do a great job.’

He carried on today with a raft of new moves, which included unceremoniously firing an ultra-loyal supporter of Jeremy Corbyn, as he began the process of restoring Labour’s credibility.

Richard Burgon announced on Twitter today that he was being replaced as shadow justice secretary, a position he has held since 2016. 

Mr Burgon, the Leeds East MP, announced on Twitter that the new leader had removed him, after he ran for deputy leader on an unashamedly pro-Corbyn ticket.

He had promised to carry on the hard-left politics of Mr Corbyn, but finished third behind winner Angela Rayner, and Dr Rosena Allin-Khan.

This morning he wrote: ‘It’s been an honour to serve as Labour’s Shadow Justice Secretary since 2016. 

‘I’ve just had a chat with Keir who let me know I won’t be in his new shadow cabinet team. 

‘As I’ve done since joining the Party in the mid-1990s, I’ll continue to give my all to get a Labour Gov’t.’

But he has also lost a supporter from his top team, who stepped down with a swipe at the previous regime.

Shadow communities secretary Andrew Gwynne said he was returning to the backbenches after being left ‘tired and bruised’ by his work on the dismal 2019 election campaign, under Mr Corbyn.

In a letter to the new leader the Denton and Reddish MP said he hoped to rediscover his ‘political drive’.

Shadow communities secretary Andrew Gwynne said he was returning to the backbenches after being left ‘tired and bruised’ by his work on the dismal 2019 election campaign, under Mr Corbyn

MPs who have been removed from the shadow cabinet

Tracy Brabin

Richard Burgon

Dawn Butler 

Dan Carden

Baroness Shami Chakrabarti

Peter Dowd

Barry Gardiner

Margaret Greenwood

Andrew Gwynne

Barbara Keeley

Ian Lavery

Rachael Maskell

Christina Rees

Jon Trickett

The MP explained he ‘thoroughly enjoyed’ serving as shadow communities secretary but found his role as co-national campaign co-ordinator (NCC) ‘frankly tortuous’.

Mr Gwynne and Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery, who was also party chairman and a key ally of former leader Jeremy Corbyn, jointly held the co-ordinator post from June 2017.

Labour went on to suffer a resounding defeat at the 2019 general election in December, losing 59 seats.

They now have just 202 MPs. 

‘My experiences on the frontbench have been a mixed bag,’ Mr Gwynne wrote. 

‘The second part of my frontbench role – as co-national campaign co-ordinator – was frankly tortuous.

‘Indeed my role as NCC was almost completely sidelined by the time of the 2019 general election.

‘That cannot be allowed to ever happen again.

‘Whoever you appoint to be NCC must be given your full authority to do the job, and do it properly – acting on the best advice and election support the party can obtain. ‘

From bacon sandwiches to the Ed Stone, Ed Miliband’s gaffe-prone time as Labour leader saw it hand David Cameron his first majority government and led to the rise of Jeremy Corbyn and the hard Left

Ed Miliband time as Labour leader from 2010 to 2015 was a gaffe-prone five years that culminated in handing David Cameron his first Tory majority as prime minister.

A junior minister in Gordon Brown’s government he took over from the Scot after he lost power and was replaced by the Conservative-Lib Dem coalation government.

He was a surprise victor after beating opponents including his brother David in a ballot of members who wanted a change in direction after 13 years in power.

But his leadership was widely seen as weak, with the party riven by factional infighting as it sought to remake itself.

He struggled to project his image on the public and remains best known for two less than positive events. 

Ed Miliband unveils the ‘Ed Stone’ in Hastings in 2015, a move which attracted widespread ridicule

The stone was later used for a garden at Chelsea Flower Show (left. (Right: Mr Miliband with his wife Justine in 2015)

Ed Miliband (left) saw off his brother David in the 2010 Labour leadership election

Most famously he was pictured struggling to eat a bacon sandwich in 2014, in an image which went viral and helped to undermine his public image. 

The picture, showing him awkwardly getting his jaws around a porky bap, became the defining image of his time in office.

He also attracted ridicule because of that became known as the Ed Stone, a giant monolith Labour commissioned, emblazoned with his plan for ‘a better future’ at the 2015 election.

Alas, it was not to be. The Tores won a 330-seat majority and a raft of big names, including shadow chancellor Ed Balls, lost their seats. 

Rather than breaking through as forecast by opinion polls, Labour saw losses to the Tories in key marginal seats and failed to win the Conservatives most vulnerable constituencies.

In the immediate aftermath he quit, thanking his supporters for their backing, selfies and the ‘most unlikely cult ever’ Milifandom, as he confirmed Harriet Harman would take over as acting leader. 

But his defeat opened the door for Jeremy Corbyn to take power, as he was the outside winner of the subsequent leadership election, which set Labout on a path to its defeat in 2019, an even more overwhelming one than 2015,

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