Shadow housing secretary Thangam Debbonaire has been replaced by Manchester MP Lucy Powell (main pic) as part of Keir Starmer’s reshuffle following last week’s disastrous election result for Labour.
The 54-year-old Debbonaire (left) was in post for just over a year, but the Bristol West MP has been promoted to a more high profile job in the reshuffle as shadow Leader of the House of Commons.
“I’m really honoured to be trusted with the role of Shadow Leader of the House I thank my predecessor Val Vaz for her immediate support and for her hard work and commitment to making the House a better place for all,” she says.
Labour’s housing beat will now be covered by 46-year-old Lucy Powell, who is an EU enthusiast and Labour moderate with a background in PR and campaign work within the Labour party.
Powell has connections to the centre of the Labour party and worked with former Labour party leaders Neil Kinnock and Ed Miliband including for the latter on his leadership election campaign.
She has been MP for Manchester Central for six years, has held two shadow roles but got into trouble during Labour’s 2015 election defeat under Ed Miliband during which she was responsible for several PR blunders.
“Really pleased to become the Shadow Housing Secretary – some really big issues to tackle from cladding, housing crisis, private rented sector, homelessness and providing decent housing for all, to name a few,” she said today.
It has also been announced today that a Labour government would relax the planning rules on building new homes even further than the Conservatives.