London, In a sweeping reshuffle of the shadow cabinet by Sir Keir Starmer, the leader of the UK’s Opposition Labour Party, Indian-origin shadow ministers Lisa Nandy and Preet Kaur Gill found themselves demoted. Lisa Nandy, Member of Parliament for Wigan and daughter of Dipak Nandy, a Kolkata-born academic renowned for his contributions to race relations in Britain, was moved from her role as shadow levelling up secretary to an international development ministerial post, which was previously held by Preet Kaur Gill, the first British Sikh female member of Parliament in the House of Commons.
This reallocation was necessitated as the Department for International Development (DfID) now falls under the jurisdiction of the Foreign Office, a shift made by the Conservative Party government.
Lisa Nandy, 44, a leadership contender against Mr. Starmer following Labour’s disappointing performance in the 2019 general election, now assumes a shadow minister role, while the Birmingham Edgbaston MP Preet Kaur Gill used social media to express her support for Keir Starmer’s leadership and to bid farewell to the shadow cabinet.
In her tweet, Gill highlighted the significant events she had navigated during her tenure as Shadow Secretary for International Development, including the global pandemic, the UK’s exit from Afghanistan, and Russia’s conflict in Ukraine. Gill underscored the importance of ousting the current government and bringing a mission-driven Labour government to power under Keir Starmer’s leadership.
Meanwhile, in a reshuffle that prepares the Opposition for an impending general election, Labour Deputy Leader Angela Rayner was promoted to shadow levelling up secretary. Additionally, Pakistani-origin Birmingham Ladywood MP Shabana Mahmood became the new shadow justice secretary, while Sri Lankan-origin Thangam Debbonaire assumed the role of shadow culture secretary. Pat McFadden was appointed shadow chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Labour’s national campaign coordinator, while Liz Kendall became shadow work and pensions secretary, and Hilary Benn returned to the Labour frontbench as the new shadow Northern Ireland secretary.
Notably, key positions in Starmer’s shadow cabinet, including Rachel Reeves as shadow chancellor, Yvette Cooper as shadow home secretary, Wes Streeting as shadow health secretary, and David Lammy as shadow foreign secretary, remained unchanged.
This reshuffle reflects the party’s preparations for the upcoming general election and its commitment to diversity in leadership positions within the Labour Party.