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Jeremy Corbyn Appoints Left-Wingers To His Shadow Cabinet

Blairites out, socialists in.

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Anthony Devlin / PA Wire/PA Images

Jeremy Corbyn has finished appointing his shadow cabinet, in giving posts to key allies.

John McDonnell, the MP for Hayes and Harlington, will serve as shadow chancellor with responsibility for economic policy. He is a longtime campaigner against spending cuts and has previously backed nationalisation of some businesses as well as a wealth tax on the richest 10% of people in the country.

There had been suggestions Corbyn would choose a more moderate MP for this role but in the end he decided to stick with McDonnell, his closest parliamentary ally and campaign chief.

Other top jobs went to ministers who served in the last Labour government: Corbyn's defeated leadership rival Andy Burnham has agreed to serve as shadow home secretary, while Hilary Benn will be shadow foreign secretary.

Angela Eagle will be shadow business secretary and Heidi Alexander will be shadow health secretary.

Many other former shadow cabinet ministers from the centrist wing of the party – such as Yvette Cooper and Chuka Umunna – stepped away from the front bench.

Umunna was not offered a job and issued a lengthy statement saying he would "find it difficult to abide by the collective responsibility" required to serve under Corbyn, in part because the new leader was not completely committed to campaigning for the UK to stay in the EU in the forthcoming referendum.

The announcement means that the four leading positions in the shadow cabinet will be held by men, which was criticised by some Labour MPs.

It is so very disappointing - old fashioned male dominated Labour politics in the top positions in Shadow Cabinet #notforgirls

There is some continuity with previous Labour frontbench teams.

Lucy Powell, who ran Ed Miliband's 2010 leadership campaign, has been appointed shadow education secretary, while Lord Falconer – a former Labour lord chancellor who used to share a house with Tony Blair – has agreed to serve as shadow justice secretary.

This is Corbyn's shadow cabinet in fullL

Leader – Jeremy Corbyn
Deputy leader – Tom Watson
Shadow chancellor – John McDonnell
Shadow home secretary – Andy Burnham
Shadow foreign secretary – Hilary Benn
Shadow health secretary – Heidi Alexander
Shadow defence secretary – Maria Eagle
Shadow business secretary – Angela Eagle
Shadow chief secretary to the Treasury – Seema Malhotra
Shadow work and pensions secretary – Owen Smith
Shadow education secretary – Lucy Powell
Shadow communities secretary – Jon Trickett
Shadow energy secretary – Lisa Nandy
Shadow justice secretary – Lord Falconer
Shadow Scotland secretary – Ian Murray
Shadow Northern Ireland secretary – Vernon Coaker
Shadow Wales secretary – Nia Griffith
Shadow transport secretary – Lilian Greenwood
Shadow culture secretary – Michael Dugher
Shadow leader of the House of Commons – Chris Bryant
Shadow international development secretary – Diane Abbott
Shadow environment secretary – Kerry McCarthy
Shadow minister for women and equalities – Kate Green
Shadow minister for mental health – Luciana Berger
Shadow minister for young people – Gloria De Piero
Shadow leader of the house of lords – Baroness Smith of Basildon
Shadow lords chief whip – Lord Bassam
Shadow attorney general – Catherine McKinnell
Shadow minister without portfolio – Jonathan Ashworth
Shadow minister for housing – John Healey

Jim Waterson is a politics editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Jim Waterson at

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