Keir Starmer pledges to ensure Labour reconnects with the public with new shadow cabinet

PUBLISHED: 10:13 05 April 2020 | UPDATED: 10:13 05 April 2020

Labour MP Sir Keir Starmer speaks to local members and activists about his vision for the future of the Labour party. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA.

Labour MP Sir Keir Starmer speaks to local members and activists about his vision for the future of the Labour party. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

Sir Keir Starmer is to begin appointing his shadow cabinet after he won a landslide victory in the Labour leadership contest.

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The new leader of the opposition has vowed to make it his “mission” to reconnect the party with the public, saying Labour needs to change so trust can be regained.

A large clear-out of the current frontbench cohort is widely expected, but some less well-known shadow ministers could be given more prominent roles.

Anneliese Dodds and Nick Thomas-Symonds are among those being hotly-tipped for senior positions, while MPs on Sir Keir’s campaign team could also be in line for jobs.

Sir Keir, who entered parliament in 2015, has said Labour will “make the argument for a better future” under his leadership - but will first need to restore people’s trust in the party as a “force for good and a force for change”.


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Writing in the Sunday Times, he said: “To begin to restore that trust, I will make it my mission to reconnect Labour with the public. I want to build a coalition in all parts of the country, no matter how people previously voted.

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“We must be a party of government again capable of answering to the electorate across the whole of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

“Never again can Labour be a party that millions of people feel they cannot trust to govern, to manage our economy or to keep our country safe.

“Make no mistake: our party needs to change so that trust can be regained. We must become a credible government-in-waiting and get back to a position where we can make a real difference to people’s lives. Where that requires us to rethink, we will. And where that requires us to apologise, we will.”

Sir Keir also reiterated the apology he made to the Jewish community in his acceptance speech, saying Labour has been “shamed” over the past years by anti-Semitism.

The Labour leader secured 56% of the 490,731 votes cast in the three-month contest - beating his rivals Rebecca Long-Bailey and Lisa Nandy to replace Jeremy Corbyn.

Angela Rayner won the deputy leadership with 52.6% of the vote in the third round, and also promised to “do everything” to repay her supporters’ trust.

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