Former Liberty director Shami Chakrabarti has been appointed as the new shadow attorney general and Dawn Butler is shadow minister of black and minority ethnic communities (BAME) in what Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called the “most diverse shadow cabinet ever”.
After being re-elected last week, Corbyn has started work on reshuffling his front bench and bringing stability to the Labour party after months of unrest. In the most high-profile appointments announced on Thursday (6) evening, his long-term ally Diane Abbot has been promoted to shadow home secretary while Clive Lewis is the new shadow business secretary and Keir Starmer has been named shadow Brexit secretary.
The former head of the human rights organisation Liberty, Baroness Chakrabarti has been fast-tracked to the top echelons of the Labour party, having only become a member five months ago. The attorney general is the prime minister’s chief legal adviser and as his shadow counterpart, Chakrabarti will hold Tory Jeremy Wright to account.
The 47-year-old was last month made a life peer, and a seat in the House of Lords by Corbyn after she had headed an independent investigation into alleged anti-Semitism within the Labour party.
“It is an enormous privilege to take up the post of shadow attorney general in Jeremy Corbyn’s new team,” said Chakrabarti.
“I hope to follow in a great tradition of law officers on both sides of the aisle who have defended rights, freedoms and the rule of law.”
Corbyn added: “As a former barrister and director of Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti will bring a wealth of experience to her role as shadow attorney general.”
On the appointment of Brent Central MP Butler as shadow BAME minister, Corbyn said he was “very proud that the Labour party now has five MPs in our shadow cabinet from the BAME community – the highest number ever in any cabinet or shadow cabinet”.