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Labour Leader Keir Starmer Reshuffles Top Team After Huge Victory

By Rachel Wearmouth

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Keir Starmer has started to reshape Labour’s top team after he was elected to succeed Jeremy Corbyn as leader on Saturday.

Anneliese Dodds has been named shadow chancellor, while former leadership rival Lisa Nandy has been handed the role of shadow foreign secretary.

Nick Thomas-Symonds will be shadow home secretary, while Rachel Reeves will become shadow cabinet office minister.

Jonathan Ashworth will remain as shadow health secretary and Angela Rayner, who was elected deputy on Saturday, has been named party chair.

The frontbench team will be part of a committee charged with responding to the coronavirus crisis.

Starmer said: “We are living through a national emergency. Under my leadership, the Labour Party will always act in the country’s interest to save lives and protect livelihoods. That will be the number one priority of my shadow cabinet.

“We will be a responsible opposition that supports the government where we believe they are right and challenge them when we believe mistakes are being made.”

The reshuffle, which is not yet complete, has involved some shadow ministers leaving government.

Shadow international trade secretary Barry Gardiner was the first frontbencher relieved of his role, it emerged on Sunday.

The Brent North MP tweeted he had “received a courteous phone call” from the new leader.

Just received a courteous phone call from @Keir_Starmer standing me down from Shadow Cabinet. I wished him and his new team well.
I will continue to do all I can to serve the party and ensure a Labour victory at the next General Election.

— Barry Gardiner (@BarryGardiner) April 5, 2020

Labour party chairman Ian Lavery and shadow cabinet office minister Jon Trickett, both staunch allies of the former leader, have also left the shadow cabinet.

Lavery tweeted that it had been a “privilege” to serve and warned in a parting barb to the Remainer that the new leadership must “reconnect with our heartland communities who felt so badly let down by our deafness on Brexit”.

It has been an absolute honour and privilege to have been chair of this great party.

Solidarity to the new leadership and incoming shadow cabinet. ✊ pic.twitter.com/MBbYgBqXKR

— Ian Lavery MP (@IanLaveryMP) April 5, 2020

Trickett also said he had received a phone call.

Keir has politely asked me to stand down from shadow cabinet. I wish him and the new team well.
I reaffirm my commitment to the cause of working class emancipation and to the North.
The struggle continues

— Jon Trickett (@jon_trickett) April 5, 2020

The reshuffle is expected to continue throughout Sunday.

Starmer, who served as shadow Brexit secretary under Corbyn, secured a commanding win in the election on Saturday.

Angela Rayner, meanwhile, was elected deputy leader of the Labour Party.

Starmer won the leadership with 275,780 votes, or 56.2%, of the 490,731 votes cast.

Rayner won the deputy leadership with 228,944 votes, or 52.6%.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated. Follow HuffPost UK on Twitter here, and on Facebook here.

Via:: https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/new-labour-leader-keir-starmer-starts-shadow-cabinet-reshuffle_uk_5e89c074c5b6cbaf282ace97