New PM Starmer announces cabinet team after landslide UK election victory

Rachel Reeves becomes Britain’s first female Chancellor of the Exchequer and David Lammy is appointed Foreign Secretary.

Britain’s newly elected Prime Minister Keir Starmer has announced the core members of his cabinet team following the centre-left Labour Party’s landslide victory in the general election, ending 14 years of Conservative rule.

Starmer appointed Rachel Reeves as chancellor of the exchequer on Friday, making her the first woman to hold the position. Reeves, a former children’s chess champion and economist at the Bank of England, has pledged to grow the country’s economy while demonstrating strong fiscal discipline.

“Being appointed Minister of Finance is the honour of my life,” Reeves wrote on social media platform X.

“To all the young girls and women reading this, show them today that there are no limits to your ambition.”

UK opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer and Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer Rachel Reeves react during an election event at a farm in Oxfordshire, England, on July 1, 2024. [Phil Noble/Reuters]

Starmer appointed pioneering MP David Lammy as foreign secretary.

Born to Guyanese immigrants, Lammy grew up in Tottenham, north London, where he has served as Member of Parliament since 2000.

Mr Lammy was first elected aged 27, making him the youngest ever Member of Parliament, and quickly gained ministerial experience, serving in both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown’s governments.

After being appointed foreign minister on Friday, Lamy reiterated support for international efforts to secure an “immediate ceasefire” in Israel’s Gaza war and the release of the remaining hostages.

The 51-year-old said he would “continue tireless diplomatic efforts” towards those twin goals.

“We all understand the anguish of communities watching the images emanating from Israel and Gaza,” Lamy said.

“But the essential task now is to continue our ongoing diplomatic efforts to support an immediate ceasefire and to work towards rescuing the hostages.”

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

Rayner appointed as Starmer’s deputy

Angela Rayner, who was elected acting leader in 2020, will be selected by party members independently of the leader and will become Starmer’s deputy first minister and continue to be responsible for inequality, housing and communities.

The 44-year-old has often spoken about her tough upbringing, growing up in poor council housing and leaving school early as a young mother.

She began her career as a trade union official before embarking on her parliamentary career.

Yvette Cooper, who served as Permanent Secretary to the Treasury and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s cabinet from 2008 to 2010, has been appointed Home Secretary.

The first surprise at the Labour leadership’s top team meeting was the promotion of Lisa Nandy to culture minister after Thangam Devonair lost her shadow culture seat to the Greens.

The cabinet is otherwise a faithful replica of Starmer’s shadow team, including Pat McFadden, who played a central role in shaping Labour’s election campaign and was appointed chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

John Healey was appointed Defence Secretary and Shabana Mahmood was appointed Justice Secretary. Wes Streeting was appointed Health Secretary and Bridget Phillipson was appointed Education Secretary.

Ed Miliband, former leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition from 2010 to 2015, has been appointed Energy Secretary. Lucy Powell will become Leader of the House of Commons.

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