Corbyn appoints McDonnell to key Treasury brief

14 Sep 15

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has begun to appoint his shadow cabinet after his landslide victory on Saturday, with campaign manager and former Greater London Council finance chair John McDonnell named as shadow chancellor.

Corbyn said on Saturday that the leadership election, which he won in the first round against candidates Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall showed that Labour was “absolutely determined in our quest for a decent and better society that is possible for all”.

The MP for Islington North won 59.5% of the total 422,664 votes cast, including a majority in all three categories – party members, trade union affiliates and registered supporters, who could vote after making a £3 payment to the party.

Following the announcement, Corbyn said that people “are fed up with the inequality, the injustice, the unnecessary poverty”.

He added: “Let us be a force for change in the world, a force for humanity in the world, a force for peace in the world and a force that recognises we cannot go on like this, with grotesque levels of inequality, grotesque threats to our environment all around the world without the rich and powerful governments stepping up to the plate to make sure our world becomes safer and better.”

As well as appointing McDonnell, who has never previously held a frontbench post, Corbyn has also appointed Burnham as shadow home secretary, while former shadow health minister Diane Abbott will cover the international development brief.

Heidi Alexander, MP for Lewisham East, has been named shadow health secretary, while Hilary Benn is to remain as shadow foreign secretary.

Seema Malhotra, the MP for Feltham and Heston, has been named as shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, while Angela Eagle has been named as shadow business secretary. Eagle will also act as first secretary of state, deputising for Corbyn at Prime Ministers’ Questions as required.

Jon Trickett will be the shadow secretary of communities and local government, while Lucy Powell, who served as a shadow Cabinet Office minister in the last parliament, will be shadow education secretary. Lord Falconer, who served as lord chancellor in the last Labour government, has been named shadow justice secretary. Owen Smith will shadow work and pensions, Maria Eagle will cover the defence brief, Lisa Nandy will shadow the energy and climate change department, and Lilian Greenwood will be shadow secretary of state for transport.

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