New PM Starmer names ministerial team after landslide UK election win

Rachel Reeves becomes the UK’s first female finance minister while David Lammy is appointed as foreign secretary.

British Prime Minister Keir Starmer looks on, at Number 10 Downing Street, following the results of the election, in London, UK, July 5, 2024 [Kevin Coombs/Reuters]

The United Kingdom’s newly elected Keir Starmer has announced key members of his ministerial team after his centre-left Labour Party’s landslide general election victory ended 14 years of Conservative rule.

Starmer on Friday appointed Rachel Reeves as finance minister, the first woman to hold the post in UK history. The former child chess champion and Bank of England economist has pledged to grow the nation’s economy while showing strong fiscal discipline.

“It is the honour of my life to have been appointed chancellor of the exchequer,” Reeves wrote on social media platform X.

“To every young girl and woman reading this, let today show that there should be no limits on your ambitions.”

Keir Starmer and Rachel Reeves together on the campaign trail. They are smiling.
British opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer and Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer Rachel Reeves react during a campaign event at a farm in Oxfordshire, UK, July 1, 2024 [Phil Noble/Reuters]

Starmer appointed David Lammy, a trailblazing lawmaker, as foreign secretary.

Born to Guyanese immigrants, Lammy grew up in Tottenham, an area of north London, where he has represented in Parliament since 2000.

Lammy became the youngest member of parliament (MP) when he was first elected at age 27. He soon gained ministerial experience, serving in the governments of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

Lammy on Friday reiterated his support for international efforts to secure an “immediate ceasefire” in Israel’s war on Gaza and for the release of remaining hostages after he was named foreign secretary.

The 51-year-old said he would “get to work with tireless diplomacy” towards those twin aims.

“All of us recognise the agony of communities who have seen the scenes coming out of Israel and Gaza,” Lammy said from the Foreign Office.

“But the job now is to get to work with tireless diplomacy to support an immediate ceasefire and move towards getting those hostages out”.

lammy
Incoming Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs David Lammy leaves Downing Street in London, Friday, July 5, 2024 [Thomas Krych/AP Photo]

Rayner named as Starmer’s deputy

Angela Rayner, elected as deputy leader in 2020 – chosen independently of the actual leader by party members – will be Starmer’s deputy prime minister and retain the levelling up, housing, and communities brief.

The 44-year-old has often spoken about her tough background, growing up in a deprived public housing block and leaving school early as a young mother.

She started her career as a trade union official before embarking on a career as a lawmaker.

Yvette Cooper, who served in former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s Cabinet between 2008 and 2010 as chief secretary to the treasury and work and pensions secretary, has been named home secretary.

The first surprise in the assembly of the Labour leader’s top team was Lisa Nandy’s promotion to culture secretary after Thangam Debbonaire, who held the brief in the shadow cabinet, lost her seat to the Green Party.

Otherwise, the Cabinet mirrors Starmer’s shadow team, including Pat McFadden, who played a central role in shaping Labour’s election campaign, being named chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

John Healey was named defence secretary and Shabana Mahmood was named justice secretary. Wes Streeting was named health secretary and Bridget Phillipson was named education secretary.

Ed Miliband, former leader of the Labour Party and opposition leader between 2010 and 2015, was named energy secretary. Lucy Powell will be the leader of the House of Commons.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies