Angela Rayner
Angela Rayner has been appointed shadow levelling up secretary in Keir Starmer's reshuffle.

Keir's reshaping of his team comes as MPs return from summer recess and prepare for the general election next year, with Labour's front bench closely mirroring ministerial roles created by a government reorganisation earlier this year.

Sir Keir Starmer stated that his shadow cabinet reshuffle will mean that Labour will have the "strongest players on the pitch", telling reporters in Westminster.

After two years as shadow levelling up secretary, Lisa Nandy moves on to her next role as minister of international development – a source close to Ms Nandy told LGC that she was a "team player" and looking forward to "getting stuck into the new role".

Taking over from Nandy as shadow levelling up secretary, Rayner will also be taking on Michael Gove, as The Times has reported that Nandy felt she was not challenging her opponent enough.

Rayner has described herself as a socialist and part of Labour's "soft left", leading a delivery of the New Deal for Working People.

The appointment of Rayner as housing secretary is significant: starting as a working-class woman and former care worker who has lived in a council house may serve as an influence on how she will act within the government.

She told The Times: "On the council estate there were levels of superiority."

She continued: "We were the lowest. It taught me structures and it taught me about people. That's why I've mastered politics in the way that I have, because it is about knowing about the unspoken."

The reshuffle began when the shadow environment secretary, Jim McMahon, announced he would be stepping down, referring to personal challenges including recovering from a serious illness.

Steve Reed, who was the shadow justice secretary, has been moved to Mr McMahon's role as shadow Defra secretary while Shabana Mahmood, previously Labour's National Campaign Coordinator, will take over from Mr Reed.

The new National Campaign Coordinator will be Pat McFadden who has also been appointed shadow chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. Darren Jones will take over McFadden's previous role as the shadow chief secretary to the Treasury.

Another new entry to the cabinet is right-wing Liz Kendall, who lost against Jeremy Corbyn in the 2015 election.

She was promoted to shadow work and pensions secretary, taking over the role from Jonathan Ashworth. Mr Ashworth has been moved to the Paymaster General brief, which will involve playing a "big role" in the general election campaign.

Thangham Debbonaire, previously the shadow leader of the House of Commons, swapped roles with Lucy Powell, the shadow culture secretary.

However, Sir Keir's senior colleagues, shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves and shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper, remain in their positions.

Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, Shadow minister for mental health, stepped down whilst criticising Sir Keir's strategy on mental health, saying that it has been "made clear" by the Labour leader that there is no "space for a mental health portfolio" in his top team.

Pressure groups Momentum and Compass accused Sir Keir of promoting a "narrow band of Blairites" – arguing the reshuffle amounted to "a shift to the right and a narrowing of the diversity of views."

By Kaja Traczyk

Kaja Traczyk is a reporter for the International Business Times UK and a Journalism Undergraduate with experience in news writing, reporting, and researching.