John Healey MP part of new-look shadow Cabinet

JOHN Healey has been chosen as part of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s new-look shadow Cabinet.

The Wentworth and Dearne MP has been appointed shadow minister for housing and planning.

Mr Healey said: “Housing has long been a passion of Jeremy’s, so I’m pleased to have his backing to do this job at full shadow Cabinet level. 

“It shows the high political priority he gives to tackling the housing crisis.

“Families across the country desperately need a government that will step up to the plate on housing, but this Conservative government has stepped back. 

“As a Labour opposition, it’s our urgent task to expose the way this government is letting people down, and to show the big difference a Labour government could make.”

Mr Healey was Labour’s last housing ministers, serving in the Cabinet during 2009 and 2010. Previously, he was minister for local government and both economic and financial secretary to the treasury.

Mr Corbyn, who was announced on Saturday (12) as winner of the party’s leadership battle, said: “We have delivered a unifying, dynamic, inclusive new shadow Cabinet which for the first time ever has a majority of women. 

“I am delighted that we have established a shadow Cabinet position for mental health which is a matter I have long been interested in.”

Meanwhile Caroline Flint, who was previously shadow secretary of state for energy and climate change, was among the members who announced their return to the backbenches. 

The Don Valley MP said: “I have greatly enjoyed campaigning for the last four years for fair energy bills, to end the scandal of cold homes and for decisive action on climate change, so this was a hard decision to make.

“Returning to the backbenches will allow me to spend more time helping Labour reach out to those voters who turned away from us, but who share many of our values. 

“After months of talking to Labour members and supporters, we now have to begin a wider conversation with the British public.”