The Labour Party’s annual conference is currently taking place in Liverpool, where it is outlining its policy platform ahead of the expected national election next year. Led by Keir Starmer, the party aims to position itself as one of competence and pragmatism rather than driven by ideology. Let’s take a closer look at Starmer and his team, known as the ‘Shadow Cabinet’, who would become senior ministers in a Labour government.
Keir Starmer, aged 61, took over as leader of the Labour Party in 2020 following their worst electoral defeat in 84 years under Jeremy Corbyn. As a former human rights lawyer and the former Director of Public Prosecutions, Starmer brings a wealth of experience to the role. He was elected to parliament in 2015 and served on Corbyn’s team as the spokesperson for Brexit. His aim is to redefine Labour as a party focused on competence and pragmatism.
Angela Rayner, aged 43, was elected as the party’s deputy leader in 2020. Known for her outspoken attacks on the Conservative Party, Rayner is seen as a link to Labour’s grassroots due to her previous career as a care worker and trade unionist. In a Labour government, she would serve as the deputy prime minister and currently holds the Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities policy brief.
Rachel Reeves, aged 44, is a former economist at the Bank of England and is expected to become the finance minister if Labour wins the next election. Reeves advocates for government intervention in the economy to shape strategically important markets, aligning with the “modern supply side economics” policies endorsed by US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Reeves calls her approach ‘securonomics’.
David Lammy, aged 51, represents an inner-London constituency and has dedicated much of his political career to 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. Lammy has outlined three principles that would guide Labour’s foreign policy: reconnecting Britain with the world, prioritizing security and prosperity over ideology, and making foreign policy work for the wider public rather than corporate and commercial interests.
Ed Miliband, aged 53, led Labour into the 2015 election, which resulted in an unexpectedly large defeat and led to his resignation. Since then, Miliband has focused on environmental and climate-related issues. He is set to 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, aged 54, was elected in 1997 as part of a landslide Labour victory under Tony Blair. She has held various senior ministerial roles and has been responsible for foreign policy and interior policy within the party since Labour lost power in 2010. Cooper previously ran for party leader in 2015. She has expressed concerns about Britain’s internal security risks and has promised a new homeland security framework to prioritize state-based threats alongside terror-related threats.
Finally, John Reynolds, aged 43, has been a member of parliament since 2010 and has held several policy roles within Labour, including liaising with the financial sector. He has emphasized the need for a closer partnership between Labour and business to deliver an industrial strategy centered on green energy investment and building national resilience to external shocks.
As the Labour Party outlines its policy platform at the conference, these key figures within the party will be instrumental in shaping its vision for the future. With a focus on competence, pragmatism, and addressing important issues such as the climate crisis and social justice, Labour hopes to position itself as a strong alternative for voters in the upcoming election.
More detail via Reuters here… ( Image via Reuters )