The newly elected MPs given top jobs in Starmer’s government | Politics News

MPs who were only elected for the first time last week have been given ministerial jobs by Sir Keir Starmer.

In an unusual move for a new government, five MPs have been appointed as junior ministers despite having no parliamentary experience.

Georgia Gould, the new MP for Queen’s Park and Maida Vale, has been appointed as a parliamentary secretary in the Cabinet Office, so will support Pat McFadden, chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, and Nick Thomas-Symonds, Cabinet Office minister.

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The 38-year-old became leader of Sir Keir Starmer‘s local council in Camden in 2017 after failing to become the Labour candidate for Erith and Thamesmead, which she said was down to a “vicious smear campaign”.

She is the daughter of Blair strategist Lord Philip Gould and worked for the Tony Blair Faith Foundation before going into politics.

Georgia Gould is a parliamentary secretary to the Cabinet Office. Pic: Reuters

Colonel Al Carns has been appointed veterans minister after winning the Birmingham Selly Oak seat last week.

He will not attend cabinet, as his Tory predecessor Johnny Mercer did, something Mr Mercer has criticised Sir Keir for.

A royal marine until just after the election was called, Mr Carns won the Military Cross for his services in Afghanistan and became an OBE in 2022.

He said he was “deeply honoured” to accept his new job and said it was a “privilege” to stand for veterans.

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Why is Labour’s cabinet historic?

Miatta Fahnbulleh was voted in last week as Peckham’s newest MP, replacing veteran Labour politician Harriet Harman, and has been made an energy minister.

She said she was excited to be joining the team, adding: “Looking forward to getting to work to protect consumers.”

Having fled Liberia in the 1980s to claim asylum in the UK, the economist worked in the Cabinet Office’s policy unit before working at the Institute for Public Policy Research and was head of the New Economics Foundation.

A regular panellist on BBC’s Question Time, she was given a grant in 2022 that provides funding for mothers to stand as parliamentary candidates.

Miatta Fahnbulleh. Pic: Jonathan Hordle/Shutterstock
Miatta Fahnbulleh. Pic: Jonathan Hordle/Shutterstock

Sarah Sackman, the new MP for Finchley and Golders Green, has been appointed as solicitor general for England and Wales, supporting the attorney general, Richard Hermer.

A leading barrister, with a degree from Harvard, she said she was “truly honoured” to be asked to be solicitor general.

Sarah Sackman. Pic: PA
Sarah Sackman. Pic: PA

Kirsty McNeil was voted in as Midlothian’s MP last week and has now been made a minister in the Scotland Office, supporting Scottish Secretary Ian Murray.

Previously an adviser to Gordon Brown when he was prime minister, she was head of policy, advocacy and campaigns at Save the Children and grew up in a family of SNP activists.

She said it was an “honour” to serve in Sir Keir’s government and said Scotland is “at its beating heart”.

Kirsty McNeill. Pic: Kirsty McNeill
Kirsty McNeill. Pic: Kirsty McNeill

Returnees also given top jobs

There are a few others who have been made ministers, and were previously MPs but have had gaps in service.

Jacqui Smith, former home secretary under Gordon Brown, has been made an education minister after losing her seat in 2010. She is being made a life peer.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 02:  British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith leaves Downing Street after the weekly cabinet meeting on June 2, 2009 in London, England. There is speculation that The Home Secretary will resign later today following a series of media allegations over MP's Parliamentary expenses.   (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Former home secretary Jacqui Smith is returning to government

Former Scotland, international development and transport secretary Douglas Alexander has been made a business and trade minister after becoming an MP again after he lost his seat in 2015.

Heidi Alexander, the Lewisham East MP from 2010 until 2018, has become a Ministry of Justice minister after being elected to Swindon South.

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Emma Reynolds has been made parliamentary secretary to the Treasury and Department for Work and Pensions after winning Wycombe, five years after losing Wolverhampton North East.

More appointments are expected on Wednesday.


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