Beefed up business role for North West MP in Starmer’s ‘government in waiting’

Jonathan Reynolds MP

Jonathan Reynolds MP (Stalybridge and Hyde) has been given a larger portfolio in Sir Keir Starmer’s Shadow Cabinet.

He is to take on the expanded role of Shadow Secretary of State for Business and Trade.

“There is no route to higher growth, wages and prosperity without greater business investment. That requires a clear industrial strategy, ambition on net zero, reforms to planning and skills, improvements to our trading relationship with the EU but also new relationships around the world,” he said.

“That is exactly what Labour’s pro-worker, pro-business agenda is offering. I am so pleased with the backing we’ve had from businesses so far, and I will now take that further and faster with these additional responsibilities.

“I’d also like to pay tribute to Nick Thomas-Symonds for his superb work shadowing the trade brief as he takes on a crucial role in the Shadow Cabinet Office team.”

The former Addleshaw Goddard corporate lawyer has been an MP since 2010 when Labour were last in government.

He has been carefully wooing business leaders as part of a long term strategy dubbed the ‘smoked salmon offensive’ due to the number of breakfast events he and Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves have held in boardrooms around the country.

Also promoted in Starmer’s reshuffle was Labour’s Deputy Leader Angela Rayner MP, who will combined that role with shadowing the Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove.

Wigan MP Lisa Nandy was dropped from that portfolio to make way for Rayner and will assume the shadow international development brief.

Lucy Powell, the Manchester MP who had been working closely with the digital sector as part of her portfolio has been made shadow leader of the House of Commons in a job swap with Thangam Debbonaire who steps up as the new shadow culture secretary.