Monday, July 15, 2024

Keir Starmer gives government jobs to brand new MPs

Must read

Sir Keir Starmer has given junior ministerial roles to five MPs who were only elected for the first time last week.

It is highly unusual for MPs with no previous experience in Parliament to immediately be given government jobs.

Georgia Gould, the leader of Sir Keir’s local Camden council and daughter of Blair-era strategist Lord Philip Gould, has been appointed as a parliamentary secretary in the Cabinet Office.

Others from the new intake to get roles include economist Miatta Fahnbulleh, as a junior minister in the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, and former Royal Marine Colonel Alistair Carns as minister for veterans.

Sarah Sackman, a barrister specialising in planning and local government law, has been made solicitor general.

And Kirsty McNeill, a charity executive and former adviser to Gordon Brown when he was PM, becomes a junior minister in the Scotland Office.

Other members of Sir Keir’s frontbench – Douglas Alexander, a former minister in the Blair and Brown governments, former deputy mayor of London Heidi Alexander, and ex-shadow cabinet minister Emma Reynolds – returned to Parliament last week after spending several years away from politics.

Meanwhile, Jess Phillips makes a return to the Labour frontbench as a junior minister in the Home Office.

She was previously shadow domestic violence minister but resigned last November to vote for a Gaza ceasefire in Parliament.

Appointments are not yet complete, but it is clear quite a few of the shadow frontbench Starmer had in place last week are not going into government.

They will be aggravated to have been lapped by people who have not served any time in Parliament.

That is a party management problem for the new prime minister.

However, given the scale of his majority, it is a calculated risk he clearly believes he can take.

On Monday, Emily Thornberry said she was “very sorry and surprised” that she had not being appointed attorney general, having held the role in opposition for three years.

The BBC understands she will have no ministerial role in the new Labour government.

Latest article