Labour reshuffle

Source: Labour Party

New trade head Jonathan Reynolds (l) and new Defra chief Steve Reed

Labour’s shadow cabinet reshuffle has seen Jonathan Reynolds take on the top business and trade role, while Steve Reed is now in charge of the Defra portfolio.

Reynolds previously oversaw the business and industrial strategy portfolio in the shadow cabinet. He has also served in different roles under opposition leaders since the Ed Miliband era.

Meanwhile, Reed is taking over from former shadow environmental secretary Jim McMahon, who resigned citing personal and health reasons.

This is the London MP’s first shadow environmental role. He has been serving as shadow secretary of state for the Ministry of Justice since 2021.

Reed tweeted that he would “work tirelessly to preserve our precious nature, win a fairer deal for farmers, tackle food price inflation and end the scandal of sewage being dumped in our rivers, lakes and seas”, following his appointment.

Labour leader Keir Starmer unveiled the new lineup of shadow ministers on Monday as the party gears up for a potential general election in 2024.

As October’s Labour conference approaches, it is widely considered that this will be the final lineup of shadow cabinet ministers heading to the election.

“It is significant for the business world that Reynolds has moved to take on the expanded role of shadow secretary of state for business and trade, having most recently held the position of shadow secretary of state for business and industrial strategy,” said Grace Thompson, public affairs lead at The Institute of Export & International Trade.

“The continuity provided from his experience in this position, as well as his previous roles in portfolios across the shadow cabinet (including work and pensions, treasury, transport and energy) is likely to encourage broad stakeholder confidence.”

Previous shadow minister for international trade, Nick Thomas-Symonds, remains a shadow cabinet minister but without portfolio.

David Lammy will retain the shadow foreign affairs secretary role, while former Labour leader Ed Miliband has moved to energy security and net zero.

Long-standing MP Hilary Been is replacing Peter Kyle as shadow Northern Ireland secretary.