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Michael Shanks joins Labour front bench less than two weeks after maiden speech

Michael Shanks speaks at the Labour Party conference in Liverpool earlier this year <i>(Image: PA)</i>
Michael Shanks speaks at the Labour Party conference in Liverpool earlier this year (Image: PA)

LABOUR rookie Michael Shanks has been promoted to the party’s frontbench team – less than two weeks after making his maiden speech in the Commons.

The Rutherglen and Hamilton West MP, who became Labour’s second Scottish MP in October, has been appointed as a shadow Scotland Office minister.

The role was vacant before Shanks took over on Monday but it comes amid a wider reorganisation of Keir Starmer’s top team after a host of shadow ministers resigned or were sacked after voting in favour of a Gaza ceasefire motion in the Commons earlier this month.

He took 12 days to fill the posts vacated by those who defied the party whip to back an SNP motion in the Commons calling for the Government to support a ceasefire in Gaza.

Shanks will work under Ian Murray, who has been shadow Scotland secretary since 2020.

The pair followed Starmer's orders during the ceasefire vote and abstained on the SNP motion calling for a ceasefire.

Alex Davies-Jones has replaced Jess Phillips as shadow minister for domestic violence and safeguarding, the party said.

READ MORE: Ex-Labour MP blasts 'grovelling' Anas Sarwar after MPs vote against ceasefire

Jim McMahon returns to frontbench duties two months after resigning as shadow environment secretary on health grounds. He takes the position of shadow minister for English devolution and local government.

Other appointments include Feryal Clark as shadow minister for crime reduction, Liz Twist as shadow minister for local services and communities, Karl Turner becomes shadow solicitor general and Steve McCabe has been appointed shadow veterans minister.

The job of shadow minister for faith has been given to Baroness Sherlock, Ashley Dalton has been made shadow minister for women and equalities, Tan Dhesi has been given the role of shadow exports minister and Lord Livermore is shadow exchequer secretary to the Treasury.

Chris Evans takes up the opposition’s technology and digital economy responsibilities, while Jeff Smith joins the Labour whips’ office.