LEEDS West MP Rachel Reeves was one of the big winners as both the coalition and Labour reshuffled their teams in readiness for the General Election.
Ms Reeves, who recently returned to work after maternity leave, is Labour’s new Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary where she will lead the party’s approach to benefits changes. Last night she said she was “honoured” to be given the job.
But in a move that will concern supporters of high speed rail, Maria Eagle was moved out of her role as Shadow Transport Secretary.
Ms Eagle, who has also championed giving the North control over its own rail services, used her speech at last month’s Labour conference to stress her support for HS2 the day after Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls had expressed serious reservations about the cost.
Labour leader Ed Miliband has switched her to Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the role which was previously held by Wakefield MP Mary Creagh who takes over transport.
HS2 comes under further fire today as the Treasury Select Committee calls for it to be put on hold as it warns of “serious shortcomings” in the project’s research. MPs said a “more convincing” economic case was needed for the scheme, which should “not proceed” until the Government has produced fresh analysis to show how it would deliver major benefits, such as jobs and regional economic growth.
Among further changes, Jon Trickett, MP for Hemsworth, was made Labour vice-chairman. Mr Balls, the MP for Morley and Outwood, and Pontefract and Castleford’s Yvette Cooper retained their posts as Shadow Chancellor and Shadow Home Secretary.
Among ministerial moves ordered by David Cameron, Keighley MP Kris Hopkins was made a junior local government minister.