Corbyn appoints Angela Eagle shadow secretary for business, innovation and skills
Becky Frith, September 14, 2015
Angela Eagle has been named shadow secretary of state for business, innovation and skills in new Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's first shadow cabinet.
Eagle, who has been the MP for Wallasey in Merseyside since 1992, was minister for pensions and ageing society under Gordon Brown, and shadow leader of the House of Commons under Ed Miliband. Corbyn has also appointed her shadow first secretary of state.
She replaces Chuka Umunna, who stated he was stepping down from the front benches by “mutual agreement”.
Rachel Reeves, shadow secretary of state for work and pensions, has vowed not to return to the shadow cabinet after her maternity leave as a result of Corbyn’s victory. Her successor has not yet been appointed.
Corbyn’s first debate in parliament will be the second reading of the Trade Union Bill, scheduled for this afternoon. The government aims to allow employers to use agency workers to replace striking staff, double the amount of notice unions have to give before a strike can be held from seven to 14 days, and impose a minimum 50% turnout in strike ballots.
Skills minister Nick Boles said: “Working people need to know they can get on with their lives without unjustified disruption. These modernising reforms will ensure strikes only happen as a result of a clear, positive and recent decision by those entitled to vote.”
Corbyn has pledged to repeal the Bill if he becomes leader of a Labour government. "Labour must oppose this naked attack on all working people, designed to ease the passage of more cuts to our services and more privatisation,” he said. "This attack on unions will make it harder to get a pay rise, stop job losses, improve working conditions – I'll fight this draconian plan."
The Communication Workers Union, transport union the TSSA and Unite all nominated Corbyn as their preferred candidate in the Labour leadership contest.
General secretary of Unite Len McCluskey congratulated Corbyn on his victory. “The Corbyn team deserves particular credit for inspiring young and old alike, for pointing the way towards how Labour can transform itself to once again be the people’s party,” he said.
“Voters can now look at Labour and see, unquestionably, that it stands for fairness, justice, peace and strong communities. It is the party of hope, ready to take on a government hell-bent on making life worse for ordinary people.”