Former Labour leader Ed Miliband returns to party’s front bench

Ex-Labour leader Ed Miliband has returned to the party’s front bench after Sir Keir Starmer announced his new shadow cabinet.

Mr Miliband replaces Rebecca Long-Bailey, who was runner-up to Sir Keir in the recent Labour leadership contest, as shadow business secretary.

But Ms Long-Bailey keeps her position in the shadow cabinet by moving to the role of shadow education secretary.

Mr Miliband led Labour from 2010 until the 2015 general election, after which he resigned due to the party suffering a crushing defeat.

Other notable appointments include David Lammy, the Tottenham MP, being handed the shadow justice brief.

Emily Thornberry, who was a leadership candidate this year but failed to make it through to the final round, moves from her role of shadow foreign secretary to the position of shadow international trade secretary.

Louise Haigh has been appointed shadow Northern Ireland secretary on an interim basis as Tony Lloyd, who had held the role, is currently being treated in hospital after contracting coronavirus.

The 70-year-old was said to be stable and responding to treatment.

Sir Keir’s shake-up of the Labour front bench has seen a number of those MPs most loyal to his predecessor, Jeremy Corbyn, leave the shadow cabinet.

They include Richard Burgon, Dawn Butler and Barry Gardiner.

Baroness Shami Chakrabarti – who oversaw a 2016 inquiry into allegations of antisemitism in the Labour Party, which was dismissed by critics as a “whitewash” – leaves her role as shadow attorney general.

She is replaced by Lord Charlie Falconer, a veteran of Tony Blair’s governments.

Sir Keir, who was announced Labour’s new leader on Saturday, had already announced key members of his top team on Sunday.

They included newly-elected deputy leader Angela Rayner being named the new Labour Party chair, Anneliese Dodds being appointed shadow chancellor and Lisa Nandy – who came third in the leadership contest – succeeding Ms Thornberry as shadow foreign secretary.

Sir Keir said: “I’m proud to have appointed a shadow cabinet that showcases the breadth, depth and talents of the Labour Party.

“This is a new team that will be relentlessly focused on acting in the national interest to respond to the coronavirus pandemic and rebuilding Labour so that it can win the next election.”

Sir Keir’s shadow cabinet currently includes 17 women and 15 men, with seven BAME members.

Further appointments are expected over the coming days.

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