UK's Starmer appoints Reeves and Rayner to top ministerial team

Labour’s shadow chancellor of the exchequer Rachel Reeves.

Dan Kitwood | Getty Images News | Getty Images

New Prime Minister Keir Starmer named Rachel Reeves as Britain’s first female finance minister and Angela Rayner as his deputy on Friday as he began putting together the team that will help him try to deliver on a promise rebuild the country.

Reeves, 45, a former Bank of England economist, spent her time serving in opposition mending relations with the business community that were strained under left-wing former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, and pitching to voters that the party could be trusted with their money.

Starmer appointed David Lammy as Britain’s new foreign minister and John Healey as defence minister, while Yvette Cooper becomes interior minister, known as home secretary, overseeing domestic security and policing.

Lammy and Healey take charge at a time of two global conflicts and have promised to maintain continued support for Ukraine in its conflict with Russia and press for a ceasefire in the fighting in Gaza.

Starmer has promised voters he will deliver change and provide political stability after 14 years of Conservative government that has seen five prime ministers and an even higher turnover of other key ministers, including 10 education secretaries.

The appointments of his most senior team were widely expected, with ministers being named to the policy briefs they held while serving in opposition.

Rayner will also serve as secretary for levelling up, housing and communities.

Wes Streeting was named health minister, taking charge of a portfolio that will oversee Britain’s struggling National Health Service (NHS), one of the biggest issues on voters’ minds ahead of the election.

Ed Miliband, previously a Labour Party leader, was appointed as climate and energy minister, while Shabana Mahmood was named as justice minister and Bridget Phillipson will be education minister.

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