Abbott named shadow Home Secretary as Sarah Champion completes comeback



Diane Abbott has been promoted to shadow Home Secretary as Jeremy Corbyn continues a shake-up of his shadow Cabinet.

Abbott is one of a raft of promotions for allies of Corbyn with Shami Chakrabarti named shadow Attorney-General.

Jo Stevens has been appointed shadow Welsh Secretary and Sarah Champion, who resigned from the frontbench briefly in the summer, becomes shadow minister for women and equalities.

The new job for Abbott, replacing Andy Burnham who will concentrate on fighting the Manchester mayoralty, means two of Labour’s four most senior jobs are held by women, with Emily Thornberry still in post as shadow Foreign Secretary.

“I am delighted to confirm the appointments of four extremely talented women to our shadow cabinet. These appointments mean, for the first time ever, two out of the three traditional ‘great offices of state’ will be shadowed by women,” Corbyn said tonight.

The leader, re-elected by a landslide last month, earlier sacked Rosie Winterton as chief whip and installed former minister Nick Brown in her place.

It is the appointment of Chakrabarti which could prove most controversial. The barrister and former director of Liberty carried out a review into instances of anti-Semitism for Labour this summer but faced a series of questions after it emerged Corbyn had nominated her to join the House of Lords. Her report found Labour was not “over-run” by prejudice against Jews but made a series of recommendations for Labour MPs, staff and activists while she insisted there had not held any discussions about a peerage before agreeing to work on the investigation.

“It is an enormous privilege to take up the post of Shadow Attorney General in Jeremy Corbyn’s new team. I hope to follow in a great tradition of law officers on both sides of the aisle who have defended rights, freedoms and the Rule of Law.”

Several of the other promoted MPs spoke of their pride at being awarded new roles.

“I am honoured to serve. My first job when I left university was as a graduate trainee in the Home Office, so my career has come full circle,” said Abbott.

Champion joins the top team after quitting the frontbench in the summer before returning weeks later. Tonight she said: “I became an MP to make a difference. Women and Equalities is something I have spent years fighting for and this appointment is a great honour.”

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