Shadow cabinet: junior appointments in full

Junior jobs for many of the shadow cabinet election losers, as well as some of the new intake.

Ed Miliband's office has now announced the full raft of shadow cabinet appointments, including junior roles. You can see the list of top jobs here, but see below for the full list of junior appointments.

Few surprises on the whole; from the new intake, NS tips for the future Chuka Ummana, Rushanara Ali, Gloria De Piero, Michael Dugher and Rachel Reeves have all taken their first steps towards future front bench careers, while those who missed out in the shadow cabinet election itself have also made a showing, with erstwhile leadership candidate Diane Abbott taking on public health, Emily Thornberry (who missed out on the top tier by one vote) also joining the health team, and Fiona MacTaggart, who also came close, to work with Yvette Cooper on equality.

Of the former ministers who missed out, David Lammy and Ben Bradshaw have not taken junior jobs (although they will almost certainly have been offered them). The other point of note is the appointment of Phil Woolas, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, to the shadow home office team. Woolas is currently fighting an attempt to overturn his election victory in court for alleged "corrupt practices". Depending on the verdict of the case (expected later this month), his appointment could come back to haunt Ed Miliband as his team begin to get down to the work of opposition.

Here's the full list by department (shadow minister in bold):

Leader of the Opposition

Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP

PPS to the Leader of the Opposition: Anne McGuire MP
PPS to the Leader of the Opposition: Chuka Umunna MP

Department for International Development

Deputy Leader and Shadow Secretary of State for International Development: Rt Hon Harriet Harman MP

Mark Lazarowicz MP
Rushanara Ali MP

HM Treasury

Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer: Rt Hon Alan Johnson MP

Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury: Angela Eagle MP

David Hanson MP
Chris Leslie MP
Kerry McCarthy MP

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities: Rt Hon Yvette Cooper MP

Rt Hon John Spellar MP
Wayne David MP
Stephen Twigg MP
Emma Reynolds MP

Government Equalities Office

Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities: Rt Hon Yvette Cooper MP

Fiona MacTaggart MP

Home Office

Shadow Secretary of State for the Home Department: Rt Hon Ed Balls MP

Vernon Coaker MP
Phil Woolas MP
Gerry Sutcliffe MP
Diana Johnson MP
Shabana Mahmood MP

Department for Education

Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Election Coordinator: Rt Hon Andy Burnham MP

Kevin Brennan MP
Sharon Hodgson MP
Iain Wright MP
Toby Perkins MP

Ministry of Justice

Shadow Lord Chancellor, Shadow Secretary of State for Justice (with responsibility for political and constitutional reform): Rt Hon Sadiq Khan MP

Shadow Minister (Political and Constitutional Reform): Chris Bryant MP

Helen Goodman MP
Andy Slaughter MP
Rob Flello MP

Department for Work and Pensions

Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions: Rt Hon Douglas Alexander MP

Stephen Timms MP
Karen Buck MP
Margaret Curran MP
Rachel Reeves MP

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills: Rt Hon John Denham MP

Gareth Thomas MP
Ian Lucas MP
Gordon Banks MP
Gordon Marsden MP
Nia Griffith MP
Chi Onwurah MP

Department of Health

Shadow Secretary of State for Health: Rt Hon John Healey MP

Shadow Minister (Public Health): Diane Abbott MP

Emily Thornberry MP
Derek Twigg MP
Liz Kendall MP

Department for Communities and Local Government

Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government: Rt Hon Caroline Flint MP

Alison Seabeck MP
Barbara Keeley MP
Jack Dromey MP
Chris Williamson MP

Ministry of Defence

Shadow Secretary of State for Defence: Rt Hon Jim Murphy MP

Kevan Jones MP
Russell Brown MP
Michael Dugher MP
Gemma Doyle MP

Department for Energy and Climate Change

Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change: Meg Hillier MP

Huw Irranca-Davies
Luciana Berger MP

Office of the Leader of the House of Commons

Shadow Leader of the House of Commons: Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP

Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons: Helen Jones MP

Department for Transport

Shadow Secretary of State for Transport: Maria Eagle MP

Jim Fitzpatrick MP
Andrew Gwynne MP
John Woodcock MP

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Mary Creagh MP

Willie Bain MP
Jamie Reed MP
Peter Soulsby MP

Northern Ireland

Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland: Rt Hon Shaun Woodward MP

Eric Joyce MP

Scotland Office

Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland: Ann McKechin MP

Tom Greatrex MP

Wales

Shadow Secretary of State for Wales: Rt Hon Peter Hain MP

Owen Smith MP

Culture, Media and Sport

Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport: Ivan Lewis MP

Shadow Minister for the Olympics: Rt Hon Tessa Jowell MP

Ian Austin MP
Gloria De Piero MP

Shadow Leader of the House of Lords

Shadow Leader of the House of Lords: Rt Hon Baroness Royall of Blaisdon

Cabinet office

Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office: Rt Hon Liam Byrne MP

Shadow Minister of State - Cabinet Office: Jon Trickett MP

Roberta Blackman-Woods MP

Law Officers

Shadow Attorney-General: Rt Hon Baroness Scotland

Shadow Solicitor-General: Catherine McKinnell MP

Whips Office (Commons)

Opposition Chief Whip: Rt Hon Rosie Winterton MP

Deputy Chief Whip: Alan Campbell MP

Pairing Whip: Tony Cunningham MP

Whip: Lyn Brown MP

Whip: Mark Tami MP

Whip: David Wright MP

Assistant Whip: Stephen Pound MP

Assistant Whip: David Hamilton MP

Assistant Whip: Dave Anderson MP

Assistant Whip: Angela C Smith MP

Assistant Whip: Phil Wilson MP

Assistant Whip: Lillian Greenwood MP

Assistant Whip: Jonathan Reynolds MP

Assistant Whip: Graham Jones MP

Whips Office (Lords)

Lords Chief Whip: Rt Hon Lord Bassam of Brighton

Caroline Crampton is assistant editor of the New Statesman.

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Angela Merkel's call for a burqa ban sets a disturbing precedent

The German chancellor's plan for a partial ban of the full-face veil is a clearly political move, which will do more to harm those women who wear it than protect them.

 

In these febrile times, women’s freedom and autonomy has become a bargaining chip in the poker game of public propaganda — and that goes double for brown, Muslim and migrant women. Angela Merkel should know as well as any other female politician how demeaning it is to be treated as if what you wear is more important than what you say and what you do. With the far-right on the rise across Europe, however, the German chancellor has become the latest lawmaker to call for a partial ban on the burqa and niqab.

We are told that this perennial political football is being kicked about in the name of liberating women. It can have nothing to do, of course, with the fact that popular opinion is lurching wildly to the right in western democracies, there’s an election in Germany next year, and Merkel is seen as being too soft on migration after her decision to allow a million Syrian refugees to enter the country last year. She is also somehow blamed for the mob attacks on women in Cologne, which have become a symbol of the threat that immigration poses to white women and, by extension, to white masculinity in Europe. Rape and abuse perpetrated by white Europeans, of course, is not considered a matter for urgent political intervention — nor could it be counted on to win back voters who have turned from Merkel's party to the far-right AFD, which wants to see a national debate on abortion rights and women restricted to their rightful role as mothers and homemakers.

If you’ll allow me to be cynical for a moment, imposing state restrictions on what women may and may not wear in public has not, historically, been a great foundation for feminist liberation. The move is symbolic, not practical. In Britain, where the ban is also being proposed by Ukip the services that actually protect women from domestic violence have been slashed over the past six years — the charity Refuge, the largest provider of domestic violence services in the UK, has seen a reduction in funding across 80% of its service contracts since 2011.

It’s worth noting that even in western countries with sizeable Muslim minorities, the number of women who wear full burqa is vanishingly small. If those women are victims of coercion or domestic violence, banning the burqa in public will not do a thing to make them safer — if anything, it will reduce their ability to leave their homes, isolating them further.

In the wake of the Brexit vote, racist and Islamophobic attacks spiked in the UK. Hate crimes nationally shot up by 42% in the two weeks following the vote on 23 June. Hate crimes against Muslim women increased by over 300%, with visibly Muslim women experiencing 46% of all hate incidents. Instances of headscarves being ripped off have become so common that self-defense videos are being shared online, showing women how to deflect the “hijab grab”. In this context, it is absurd to claim that politicians proposing a burqa ban care about protecting women: the move is transparently designed to placate the very people who are making Muslim women feel unsafe in their own communities.

When politicians talk about banning the burqa, the public hears an attack on all Islamic headscarves — not everyone knows the difference between the hijab, the niqab and the burqa, and not everyone cares. The important thing is that seeing women dressed that way makes some people feel uncomfortable, and desperate politicians are casting about for ways to validate that discomfort.

Women who actually wear the burqa are not invited to speak about their experiences or state their preferences in this debate. On this point, Islamic fundamentalists and panicked western conservatives are in absolute agreement: Muslim women are provocative and deserve to be treated as a threat to masculine pride. They should shut up and let other people decide what’s best for them.

I know Muslim women who regard even the simple hijab as an object of oppression and have sworn never to wear one again. I also know Muslim women who wear headscarves every day as a statement both of faith and of political defiance. There is no neutral fashion option for a woman of Islamic faith — either way, men in positions of power will feel entitled to judge, shame and threaten. Either choice risks provoking anger and violence from someone with an opinion about what your outfit means for them. The important thing is the autonomy that comes with still having a choice.

A law which treats women like children who cannot be trusted to make basic decisions about their bodies and clothing is a sexist law; a law that singles out religious minorities and women of colour as especially unworthy of autonomy is a racist, sexist law. Instituting racist, sexist laws is a good way to win back the votes of racist, sexist people, but, again, a dreadful way of protecting women. In practice, a burqa ban, even the partial version proposed by Merkel which will most likely be hard to enforce under German constitutional law, will directly impact only a few thousand people in the west. Those people are women of colour, many of them immigrants or foreigners, people whose actual lives are already of minimal importance to the state except on an abstract, symbolic level, as the embodiment of a notional threat to white Christian patriarchy. Many believe that France's longstanding burqa ban has increased racial tensions — encapsulated by the image earlier this year of French police surrounding a woman who was just trying to relax with her family on the beach in a burkini. There's definitely male violence at play here, but a different kind — a kind that cannot be mined for political capital, because it comes from the heart of the state.

This has been the case for centuries: long before the US government used the term“Operation Enduring Freedom” to describe the war in Afghanistan, western politicians used the symbolism of the veil to recast the repeated invasion of Middle Eastern nations as a project of feminist liberation. The same colonists who justified the British takeover of Islamic countries abroad were active in the fight to suppress women’s suffrage at home. This is not about freeing women, but about soothing and coddling men’s feelings about women.

The security argument is even more farcical: border guards are already able to strip people of their clothes, underwear and dignity if they get the urge. If a state truly believes that facial coverings are some sort of security threat, it should start by banning beards, but let's be serious, masculinity is fragile enough as it is. If it were less so, we wouldn't have politicians panicking over how to placate the millions of people who view the clothing choices of minority and migrant women as an active identity threat.

Many decent, tolerant people, including feminists, are torn on the issue of the burqa: of course we don't want the state to start policing what women can and can't wear, but isn't the burqa oppressive? Maybe so, but I was not aware of feminism as a movement that demands that all oppressive clothing be subject to police confiscation, unless the Met’s evidence lockers are full of stilettos, girdles and push-up bras. In case you're wondering, yes, I do feel uncomfortable on the rare occasions when I have seen people wearing the full face veil in public. I've spent enough time living with goths and hippies that I've a high tolerance for ersatz fashion choices — but do wonder what their home lives are like and whether they are happy and safe, and that makes me feel anxious. Banning the burqa might make me feel less anxious. It would not, however, improve the lives of the women who actually wear it. That is what matters. My personal feelings as a white woman about how Muslim women choose to dress are, in fact, staggeringly unimportant.

If you think the Burqa is oppressive and offensive, you are perfectly entitled never to wear one. You are not, however, entitled to make that decision for anyone else. Exactly the same principle applies in the interminable battle over women's basic reproductive choices: many people believe that abortion is wrong, sinful and damaging to women. That's okay. I suggest they never have an abortion. What's not okay is taking away that autonomy from others as a cheap ploy for good press coverage in the runup to an election.

This debate has been dragging on for decades, but there's a new urgency to it now, a new danger: we are now in a political climate where the elected leaders of major nations are talking about registries for Muslims and other minorities. Instituting a symbolic ban on religious dress, however extreme, sets a precedent. What comes next? Are we going to ban every form of Islamic headdress? What about the yarmulke, the tichel, the Sikh turban, the rainbow flag? If this is about community cohesion, what will it take to make white conservatives feel “comfortable”? Where does it stop? Whose freedoms are politicians prepared to sacrifice as a sop to a populace made bitter and unpredictable by 30 years of neoliberal incompetence? Where do we draw the line?

We draw it right here, between the state and the autonomy of women, particularly minority and migrant women who are already facing harassment in unprecedented numbers. Whatever you feel about the burqa, it is not the role of government to police what women wear, and doing it has nothing to do with protection. It is chauvinist, it is repressive, it is a deeply disturbing precedent, and it has no place in our public conversation.

 
 
 
 

Laurie Penny is a contributing editor to the New Statesman. She is the author of five books, most recently Unspeakable Things.