Labour reshuffles frontbench team


Labour today announced a reshuffle of its frontbench team in the House of Lords, a day after Ed Miliband tweaked his shadow cabinet by bringing Jon Cruddas in as head of the party's policy review.

The changes were prompted by the decision of justice spokesman Lord Bach and deputy chief whip Baroness Crawley to stand down, said Labour's Leader in the Lords Baroness Royall.

Former Basildon MP and ex-minister Lady (Angela) Smith becomes a deputy chief whip and a member of the Labour home affairs team in the Lords.

One-time health minister Lady Thornton takes the equalities brief, while deputy leader in the Lords Lord Hunt of Kings Heath moves to the health team.

Lord (Jeremy) Beecham, the former chairman of the Local Government Association, takes over the justice portfolio.

Labour is beefing up its business team in the Upper House with the addition of the former chief executive of London Underground and chairman of the Atomic Energy Agency Lord Tunnicliffe and the former chairman of the Legal Services Consumer Panel Lady Hayter.

Former Glasgow Rutherglen MP Lord McAvoy takes on both the Scotland and Northern Ireland portfolios, while trade unionist and former party general secretary Lord Collins joins the work and pensions team.

Environmental campaigner Lady (Bryony) Worthington was appointed a whip.

Lady Royall said: "I am very proud to lead an excellent team which will scrutinise and vigorously oppose legislation where it harms the interests of the people of our country, and support Ed Miliband as he builds trust in our party so that we can defeat this unfair, incompetent and out-of-touch Government at the next election."