Labour’s new cabinet: Who is in Keir Starmer’s top team?

Sir Keir Starmer has made Rachel Reeves Britain’s first female chancellor as he appoints his new cabinet to get on with the job quickly.

One of the easiest appointments for the new prime minister was Ms Reeves as his new chancellor.

She played a major role in the campaign and, as a former Bank of England economist, has helped bring economic credibility back to Labour from the wreckage of the Jeremy Corbyn years.

She is the first female to hold the second most important role in government in 708 years of the office being in existence.

Reeves arrives in Downing Street on Friday (EPA)Reeves arrives in Downing Street on Friday (EPA)

Reeves arrives in Downing Street on Friday (EPA)

Earlier, Angela Rayner had been handed her own department as secretary of state for levelling up, housing and communities, taking over from Michael Gove.

There had been questions about whether she might get a roving role, but she had shadowed Mr Gove with some success and had hankered after a department.

Angela Rayner arrives in Downing Street to be given levelling up and named deputy prime minister (EPA)Angela Rayner arrives in Downing Street to be given levelling up and named deputy prime minister (EPA)

Angela Rayner arrives in Downing Street to be given levelling up and named deputy prime minister (EPA)

Ms Rayner, who will also be deputy prime minister – only the second woman to hold the role after Therese Coffey in Liz Truss’s 49-day government – will mirror the role of John Prescott who was Tony Blair’s deputy and also in charge of the department for local government and development.

Just 24 hours before people went to the polls, Sir Keir was still being coy about who would get the top jobs and refused in interviews to guarantee anybody a post.

This was partly due to Neil Kinnock coming unstuck in 1992 when he introduced his new cabinet at an infamous rally in Sheffield only to lose the election.

Wes Streeting arrives to be named the new health secretary (PA)Wes Streeting arrives to be named the new health secretary (PA)

Wes Streeting arrives to be named the new health secretary (PA)

But many of the names of Sir Keir’s first cabinet were easily predicted.

David Lammy became foreign secretary, Wes Streeting health secretary, Bridget Phillipson education secretary and Yvette Cooper home secretary.

John Healey is the new defence secretary, and Pat McFadden was rewarded for his success as campaign coordinator by getting Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, running the powerful Cabinet Office, often described as the engine room of government.

Mr Streeting, another stalwart, held on to his seat in east London by just a few hundred votes.

Bridget Phillipson is the new education secretary (AFP/Getty)Bridget Phillipson is the new education secretary (AFP/Getty)

Bridget Phillipson is the new education secretary (AFP/Getty)

Another clear-cut choice was the rising star Ms Phillipson, who like Mr Streeting gave an in-depth interview to The Independent during the election.

Having survived a scare from a pro-Gaza independent in Birmingham Ladywood, key Starmer ally Shabana Mahmood has been made justice secretary.

In one of the few surprises, Lisa Nandy was promoted to culture secretary, after the holder of the brief in his shadow cabinet, Thangam Debbonaire, lost her Bristol Central seat to the Greens.

New justice secretary and lord chancellor Shabana Mahmood (AP)New justice secretary and lord chancellor Shabana Mahmood (AP)

New justice secretary and lord chancellor Shabana Mahmood (AP)

Ms Nandy had been demoted in the Labour leader’s last reshuffle in 2023 to shadow minister for international development.

Former leader Ed Miliband beomes secretary of state for energy security and net zero in a sign Sir Keir will push through an agenda tackling climate change despite dropping his £28bn green deal plan.

Sir Keir has also named Liz Kendall work and pensions secretary, Jonathan Reynolds the business and trade secretary and the president of the Board of Trade, while Peter Kyle becomes the secretary of state for science.

Shadow secretary for transport Louise Haigh (Maja Smiejkowska/PA) (PA Wire)Shadow secretary for transport Louise Haigh (Maja Smiejkowska/PA) (PA Wire)

Shadow secretary for transport Louise Haigh (Maja Smiejkowska/PA) (PA Wire)

At just 36, Louise Haigh becomes the youngest cabinet minister of the modern era as transport secretary, again retaining the role she held in the shadow cabinet.

Steve Reed was appointed environment secretary, Hilary Benn is Northern Ireland secretary, Ian Murray is Scotland secretary and Jo Stevens is secretary of state for Wales.

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