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Who’s who in new UK government?

Published: 18:50, 7 July 2024

Who’s who in new UK government?

International Desk
Keir Starmer led Britain's Labour Party to a landslide victory in the 2024 parliamentary election, taking over from the Conservatives after 14 years in opposition.
Below are details on new Prime Minister Starmer and his freshly appointed team of senior ministers:
Keir Starmer, Prime Minister
Starmer, 61, took charge of Labour in 2020 following its worst electoral defeat in 84 years in 2019 under left-wing veteran Jeremy Corbyn. He has sought to develop Labour as a party of competence and pragmatism rather than one driven by an overriding ideology.
A former human rights lawyer who rose to become Britain's top prosecutor, Starmer was elected to parliament in 2015 and served in Corbyn's team as the spokesperson for Brexit.
In his first speech as the leader of the world's sixth largest economy, Starmer, who was named after the founder of the Labour Party, Keir Hardie, pledged action to fix the country, even as he warned that improvements would take time.
Angela Rayner, Deputy PM
Rayner, 44, was elected as deputy leader by party members in 2020. Often outspoken in her attacks on the Conservative Party, she is seen as an important link to the party's grassroots thanks to her former career as a care worker and trade unionist prior to being elected as a lawmaker in 2015.
Rayner was named deputy prime minister in the new Labour government, and will also be the minister for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.
Rachel Reeves, Finance Minister
Reeves, 45, previously worked as an economist at the Bank of England and was appointed finance minister, or Chancellor of the Exchequer as the role is officially titled.
She has said Labour would stick to strict fiscal rules about not borrowing to fund day-to-day spending, but has opened the door to increased government investment, funded by borrowing, to shape strategically important markets, echoing the "modern supply side economics" policies advocated by U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.
Reeves, who becomes the country's first female finance chief, has dubbed her own approach "securonomics."
David Lammy, Foreign Minister
Lammy, 51, who represents an inner-London constituency and has spent much of his political career campaigning for social and racial justice, became the country's new foreign minister.
In 2017, Lammy published a critical review of the treatment of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic individuals in the British justice system.
He has identified three principles that would underpin Labour's foreign policy: reconnecting Britain with the world, putting security and prosperity above ideology and making foreign policy work for the wider public rather than corporate and commercial interests.
He describes his approach as one of "progressive realism."
Yvette Cooper, Interior Minister
Cooper, 55, who was elected in 1997 as part of a landslide Labour election victory under Tony Blair and went on to serve in senior ministerial roles, was named Home Secretary, or interior minister.
Since Labour lost power in 2010 she has held both foreign and interior policy roles for the party, and in 2015 ran unsuccessfully to become party leader.
She has promised Labour would run a government of law and order, starting with more policing power to tackle local crime and anti-social behaviour. She has also pledged a new homeland security framework to give state-based threats the same priority as terror-related threats.
John Healey, Defence Minister
Healey, 64, was appointed as the country's new defence minister. On a visit to Kyiv in May, he said a Labour government would stick to Britain's resolve "to stand with Ukraine, to confront Russian aggression and to pursue Putin for his war crimes". He was elected to parliament in 1997 and has held various junior ministerial roles, such as housing and in the finance department.
Wes Streeting, Health Minister
Streeting, 41, was named health minister, tasked with one of the most pressing issues facing the new government: clearing the millions of people on the state-run National Health Service's waiting list for treatment.
He was elected to parliament in 2015 and has held policy briefs for health and education, among others.
Ed Miliband, Energy Security and Net Zero Minister
Miliband, 54, led Labour into the 2015 election, which the party lost by an unexpectedly large margin that triggered his resignation. He has since rebuilt his political career around environmental and climate-related issues.
As the new energy security and net zero minister Miliband will play a central role in delivering Labour's plan to make Britain a "clean energy superpower" through the creation of a publicly owned energy company with powers to invest in new green projects alongside the private sector. Jonathan Reynolds, Business Minister
Reynolds, 43, was elected to parliament in 2010 and has been deployed in several different policy roles by Labour, most notably as its liaison with the financial sector for four years until 2020, before taking over the business and trade brief. He has promised closer partnership between Labour and business to deliver an industrial strategy centred on green energy investment and building national resilience to external shocks.

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