York MP Rachael Maskell is back in the shadow cabinet

Rachael Maskell after her York Central win in the December election. Photograph: YorkMix
7 Jan 2020 @ 3.17 pm
| Politics

Nearly two years after quitting the shadow cabinet over Brexit, Rachael Maskell has been welcomed back to Labour’s top team.

Ms Maskell, who was returned as York Central MP in the December general election, has been appointed shadow employment rights secretary.


The job is part of a mini Labour reshuffle as party leader Jeremy Corbyn prepares for the final four months of his leadership.

Ms Maskell takes over from Laura Pidcock, who lost her seat at the election.

The York Central MP previously served in Labour’s top team as shadow environment secretary before quitting to vote against triggering Article 50 and Brexit in February 2017.

Another Yorkshire MP Tracy Brabin, the former Coronation Street actor who was elected as MP for Batley and Spen after the murder of Jo Cox, replaces former deputy party leader Tom Watson as shadow culture secretary.

Plymouth MP Luke Pollard takes ex-MP Sue Hayman’s position as shadow environment secretary.

‘Valued at work’

Ms Maskell in the Commons
Ms Maskell said she wants to work with York employers, large and small, “to focus on how we can improve employment practices in the city in these challenging economic times”.

She said:

  • I will also bring a focus on changing the culture of workplaces. Bullying, work-related stress and challenges to physical and mental health are poorly dealt with in many workplaces.

    I have been looking at some of the initiatives that employers in York have been taking, like Nestle, Aviva and McDonalds, to invest in staff wellbeing.

    I will also prioritise introducing legislation around bullying at work, where there is currently no legal definition or remedy.

    Too often perpetrators continue in their jobs while targets of negative behaviours are forced out the door.

Mr Corbyn said: “I am pleased to appoint Tracy Brabin, Rachael Maskell and Luke Pollard to our shadow cabinet, and Tan Dhesi as my parliamentary private secretary.

“Labour will be holding the Conservatives to account on their election promises, record of failure and performance in government every step of the way.”