Three key appointments: Keir Starmer fills top shadow cabinet roles


Anneliese Dodds – shadow chancellor

Dodds is a relative newcomer to parliament, first winning her safe Oxford East seat in 2017, but before then had spent three years as an MEP, serving on the European parliament’s economic and monetary affairs committee, with a focus on corporate tax avoidance.

Anneliese Dodds has been appointed as first female shadow chancellor, as new Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer begins to assemble his new shadow cabinet.



Anneliese Dodds has been appointed as first female shadow chancellor, as new Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer begins to assemble his new shadow cabinet. Photograph: UK Parliament/PA

This background saw her become a shadow treasury minister within weeks of entering parliament, a role she has remained in ever since. She served under Jeremy Corbyn despite not being a natural ally of his side of the party, having backed Yvette Cooper in the 2015 Labour leadership contest.

The 42-year-old was raised in Aberdeen, moving to England to pursue a degree at Oxford university in the politicians’ traditional subject of politics, philosophy and economics. She took a PhD and became an academic, focusing on public policy.

Her partner, Ed Turner, is the Labour deputy leader of Oxford city council. The pair have two young children.

Lisa Nandy – shadow foreign secretary

The senior job for Nandy is a reward for the Wigan MP’s strong performance in the Labour leadership race, where she reached the final three who went before the members – even though she came third behind Starmer and Rebecca Long-Bailey, with just 16% of first-preference votes.

Lisa Nandy who came third in the leadership race is new shadow foreign secretary.



Lisa Nandy who came third in the leadership race is new shadow foreign secretary. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA

Nandy came across in the race as the candidate presenting Labour members with unpalatable truths about the need for the party to fundamentally change if it was ever to win another election.

While always seen as an outsider, the former shadow energy secretary, who quit Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet following the Brexit vote, was seen as having performed well in media interviews and debates.

A former charity officer who became the MP for her home town in 2010, Nandy used a speech on international affairs during the campaign to criticise Corbyn over his unwillingness to condemn Russia, and said Labour should have made positive, internationalist arguments against Brexit, including a defence of free movement.

Nick Thomas-Symonds – shadow home secretary

Another lawyer in Starmer’s top team, the 39-year-old barrister has represented the Monmouthshire seat of Torfaen, where he was born, since 2015.

Nick Thomas-Symonds has been appointed as shadow home secretary in Starmer’s new shadow cabinet.



Nick Thomas-Symonds has been appointed as shadow home secretary in Starmer’s new shadow cabinet. Photograph: Chris McAndrew/UK Parliament/PA

He took over from Jo Steven as shadow solicitor general in 2016, and the following year took on the additional role of shadow security minister in Diane Abbott’s home affairs team, where he has been a critic of the Prevent anti-extremism programme.

Educated at Oxford, Thomas-Symonds became a lecturer in politics at his own college while just 21. He has since written biographies of Nye Bevan and Clement Attlee.

Since becoming an MP, Symonds-Thomas has talked about Attlee as a role model, describing the postwar Labour prime minister as a leader able to unite a broad range of views within Labour.

He lives in Abersychan with his wife and two daughters.



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