LIVERPOOL, England (Reuters) – Britain’s opposition Labour Party is holding its annual conference in Liverpool, setting out details of the policy platform it hopes will propel it to victory in a national election expected next year.
Below are details on leader Keir Starmer and his so-called ‘Shadow Cabinet’, the team who are in line to become senior ministers in any Labour government:
KEIR STARMER, LABOUR LEADER
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 the 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.
He was named after the founder of the Labour Party, Keir Hardie.
ANGELA RAYNER, DEPUTY LEADER
Rayner, 43, was elected as deputy leader by party members in 2020. Often outspoken in her attacks on the governing Conservative Party, she is seen as an important link to the party’s grass roots thanks to her former career as a care worker and trade unionist prior to being elected in 2015.
Rayner would be deputy prime minister in a Labour government and also currently holds the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities policy brief.
RACHEL REEVES, FINANCE MINISTER POLICY CHIEF
Reeves, 44, previously worked as an economist at the Bank of England and is set to become finance minister if Labour win the next election.
She has argued in favour of government intervention in the economy to shape strategically important markets, echoing the “modern supply side economics” policies advocated by U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.
Reeves has dubbed her own approach ‘securonomics’.
DAVID LAMMY, FOREIGN AFFAIRS POLICY CHIEF
Lammy, 51, represents an inner-London constituency and has spent much of his political career campaigning for social and racial justice. In 2017, he 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.
ED MILIBAND, ENERGY SECURITY AND NET ZERO POLICY CHIEF
Miliband, 53, 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.
Miliband would play a central role in delivering Labour’s plan to make Britain a “clean energy superpower” through targeted investment, planning reform and an overhaul of long-term strategic infrastructure priorities.
YVETTE COOPER, HOME AFFAIRS POLICY CHIEF
Cooper, 54, was elected in 1997 as part of a landslide Labour election victory under Tony Blair and went on to serve in senior ministerial roles. Since Labour lost power in 2010 she has held both foreign policy and interior policy roles for the party, and in 2015 ran unsuccessfully to become party leader.
Earlier this year, she expressed concern that Britain was not keeping up with the internal security risks it faces, promising a new homeland security framework to give state-based threats the same priority as terror-related threats.
JONATHAN REYNOLDS, BUSINESS POLICY CHIEF
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.
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.
(Reporting by William James, editing by Elizabeth Piper and Kate Holton)