'Rising star' Sunderland MP Bridget Phillipson promoted to Shadow Education Secretary in Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour reshuffle

A ‘rising star’ Sunderland MP has been made Shadow Education Secretary in Sir Keir Starmer’s reshuffle.

Tuesday, 30th November 2021, 10:01 am
Updated Tuesday, 30th November 2021, 10:06 am
Bridget Phillipson MP.

Bridget Phillipson, who represents Houghton and Sunderland South, was promoted to the role from her previous post as Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

The former St Robert of Newminster pupil, who studied history at Oxford, is described as one of the Labour leader’s rising stars.

Reacting to the news late last night on Twitter, Ms Phillipson said: “Delighted to accept the role of Shadow Education Secretary under @Keir_Starmer

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“I had a wonderful education at my local state schools — and every child deserves that.

“The last Labour Government transformed the lives of a generation. I’ll work every day to see that change again.”

In other key changes in the reshuffle, Yvette Cooper returns to Labour’s frontbench as Shadow Home Secretary, and Wes Streeting will take over as Shadow Health Secretary.

Jonathan Ashworth, who has had the health brief through the pandemic, is moved to shadow work and pensions secretary.

Lisa Nandy will face off against Michael Gove as shadow secretary for levelling up and communities. She will be replaced as shadow foreign secretary by David Lammy.

Former leader Ed Miliband becomes shadow climate change secretary, while Jonathan Reynolds takes on his former portfolio of business, energy and industrial strategy.

“With this reshuffle we are a smaller, more focused shadow cabinet that mirrors the shape of the Government we are shadowing,” Sir Keir said.

“We must hold the Conservative Government to account on behalf of the public and demonstrate that we are the right choice to form the next government.”

Earlier it appeared the reshuffle would be overshadowed as tensions resurfaced between Sir Keir and his deputy, Angela Rayner.

Ms Rayner appeared to be blindsided when news of the reshuffle broke, as she was delivering a keynote speech on Labour’s plans for reforming standards in public life.

Nick Thomas-Symonds, who was shadow home secretary, takes on international trade in what is ostensibly a demotion.

However Sir Keir softened the blow by announcing that he had asked him to head a new shadow cabinet committee leading the party’s response on Brexit.

Elsewhere, Lucy Powell becomes shadow culture secretary, Jim McMahon gets environment, Louise Haigh goes to transport and Steve Reed gets justice.

The veteran former minister Pat McFadden becomes shadow treasury chief secretary while former leadership contender Emily Thornberry is the shadow attorney general.

Peter Kyle enters the shadow cabinet as shadow Northern Ireland secretary while Jo Stevens becomes shadow Welsh secretary.

Those leaving include the former shadow education secretary Kate Green, the former shadow environment secretary Luke Pollard and the Blair-era veteran Lord Falconer, who announced he was stepping down as shadow attorney general.

Earlier, Cat Smith, who was shadow minister for young people and one of the last acolytes of Jeremy Corbyn on the Labour frontbench, announced she was quitting, citing the continued withholding of the Labour whip from the former leader.

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves, party chair Anneliese Dodds and shadow defence secretary John Healey are among those remaining in their current posts.

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