British Indian MP Lisa Nandy has been moved out as shadow secretary of state for levelling up to take charge as shadow minister for international development. It marks a veritable step down for the member of Parliament for Wigan who had been one of the contenders for the post of Labour Party leader in the 2020 leadership campaign.
Nandy is the Manchester-born daughter of Indian academic Dipak Nandy and Louise Byers and has been a frontline politician since she was elected to the House of Commons in 2010.
She steps into the international development role being handled by British Sikh MP Preet Kaur Gill from Birmingham Edgbaston.
It comes just weeks ahead of the Labour Party’s annual conference, to be held in Liverpool in early October, and is seen as a signal of the team that Sir Keir wants to pitch as his cabinet-in-waiting in time for a general election campaign.
During the India Global Forum’s annual UK-India Week in June, Sir Keir had asserted his commitment toward building a forward-looking relationship with India and its nearly 1.8 million diaspora in the country.
He said at the time: “What my Labour government will seek with India is a relationship based on our shared values of democracy and aspiration.
“That will seek a free trade agreement, we share that ambition, but also a new strategic partnership for global security, climate security, economic security. This is the essential truth of the world we live in.”
The Opposition Leader also had a clear message for the British Indian electorate to vote for “a new start with Labour”.
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However, this new start for Labour would benefit from a wider role for the party’s MPs of Indian heritage as the diaspora electorate are still weighing up the Opposition’s commitment to reset ties after the turbulence of the previous party leadership.
*Info: Labour Party Shadow Cabinet