Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn announces shadow cabinet

Jeremy Corbyn, Andy Burnham (C), John Mcdonnell (R). © Reuters
Newly-elected Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has made the first appointments to his shadow cabinet, despite a slew of resignations among former frontbenchers who reject his left-wing agenda.

Amongst the controversial appointments is socialist and staunch Corbyn ally John McDonnell as shadow chancellor.

Corbyn’s shadow cabinet also features five men in the top positions, despite a pre-vote promise to fill 50 percent of cabinet roles with women.

Andy Burnham, a fellow leadership candidate who came in a distant second, has been given the post of shadow home secretary, while Hilary Benn accepted the role of shadow foreign secretary.

Tom Watson was elected deputy leader on Saturday.

Other confirmed appointments include Seema Malhotra as chief secretary to the treasury, Diane Abbott as shadow minister for international development and Vernon Coaker as shadow Northern Ireland secretary.

Rosie Winterton will continue her role as chief whip and Ian Murray will continue as shadow Scottish secretary.

Corbyn has already faced backlash for the appointment of McDonnell, with some asking for the leader to appoint Angela Eagle as shadow chancellor. Eagle was instead given the role of shadow first secretary of the state and will act as deputy for Corbyn in the Commons.

Highlighting the criticism, Benn refused to give McDonnell his full endorsement during an interview on BBC Radio 4, but said he “respected” the leader’s decision.

This is the choice that Jeremy has made. I respect the choice that Jeremy has made as leader.

“We have just come off the back of two bad election defeats for the Labour Party, and our principle task is to win the people’s trust when it comes to the economy.

“John’s first and last task as shadow chancellor will be to win the trust and confidence of the British people in arguing for a different economic policy,” he said.

Just before his appointment, McDonnell shared a stage with former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis at a Trade Union Congress (TUC) meeting, where he defended Corbyn’s imminent announcement.

I am hoping that within the hour we will have a shadow cabinet put together. As you know, that has been slightly more challenging than the traditional shadow cabinet. It will be as broad-based as we could possibly make it and as inclusive as possible,” he said.

Harriet Harman stood down as deputy leader, having served as acting leader since the general election. Corbyn’s fellow leadership contestant Yvette Cooper resigned as shadow home secretary, and will now become the head of a taskforce examining the refugee crisis.

Full Shadow Cabinet

Leader: Jeremy Corbyn

Deputy Leader: Tom Watson

Shadow Chancellor: John McDonnell

Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury: Seema Malhotra MP

Shadow BIS and Shadow First Secretary of State: Angela Eagle MP

Shadow Home Secretary: Andy Burnham MP

Shadow Foreign Secretary: Hilary Benn MP

Shadow Health Secretary: Heidi Alexander MP

Shadow Education Secretary: Lucy Powell MP

Shadow Lord Chancellor, Shadow Secretary of State for Justice: Lord Falconer of Thoroton

Shadow DFID: Diane Abbott MP

Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary: Vernon Coaker MP

Shadow Scotland Secretary: Ian Murray MP

Shadow Leader of the House of Commons: Chris Bryant MP

Shadow Defence Secretary: Maria Eagle MP

Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary: Owen Smith MP

Shadow Energy Secretary: Lisa Nandy MP

Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment: Kerry McCarthy MP

Shadow Communities Secretary: Jon Trickett MP

Shadow Culture Secretary: Michael Dugher MP

Shadow Secretary of State for Transport Lilian Greenwood: MP

Shadow Secretary of State for Wales: Nia Griffith MP

Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities: Kate Green MP

Shadow Minister for Young People and Voter Registration: Gloria De Piero MP

Shadow Minister for Mental Health: Luciana Berger MP

Shadow Leader of the House of Lords: Baroness Smith of Basildon

Lords Chief Whip: Lord Bassam of Brighton

Shadow Attorney General: Catherine McKinnell MP

Shadow Minister Without Portfolio: Jonathan Ashworth MP

Shadow Minister for Housing and Planning: John Healey MP