Ed Miliband named as BEIS Shadow Secretary

Former Labour leader Ed Miliband has made a return to front-bench politics after being named by the party's new leader Keir Starmer as the Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), giving him a key role in lobbying for green policy.

Ed Miliband named as BEIS Shadow Secretary

His remit as Shadow Secretary will focus on a number of key legislative strategies that the green economy is eagerly awaiting. Image: Green Alliance

Miliband makes his first return to frontline politics since stepping down as leader of the Labour Party in 2015, to be replaced by Jeremy Corbyn. Miliband has been handed the position of BEIS Shadow Secretary and will lean on his strong track record of action on climate policy to assist his new role of scrutinising the Government on upcoming green legislation. A key aspect of his role is thought to be pushing for Labour’s Green New Deal.

“We will need to reshape our economy, addressing the insecurity many millions of workers face. We must also return to climate change as the unavoidable long-term issue of our time, including with a recovery based on providing economic justice through a Green New Deal,” Miliband said.

Miliband was one of the driving forces behind the UK’s historic 2008 Climate Change Act which was updated last year to enshrine the net-zero emissions target for 2050 into law. In his recent time away from frontline politics, Miliband has advocated for a “socially just” low-carbon transition which he believes has been encapsulated in Labour’s vision for a Green New Deal.

His remit as Shadow Secretary will focus on a number of key legislative strategies that the green economy is eagerly awaiting. Namely, Miliband will attempt to hold the Government to account once it publishes its much-anticipated net-zero roadmap. However, the Government is yet to publish its Energy Whitepaper, National Infrastructure Strategy or revamped Resources and Waste Strategy, all of which will have climate and energy implications.

Miliband will also have a say in the UK’s efforts to strike an international climate agreement at COP26, now postponed until 2021.

Miliband replaces one of the Labour leadership frontrunners Rebecca Long-Bailey in the role, with the latter now taking up the position of Shadow Education Secretary. Starmer has also confirmed that Jim McMahon will act as Shadow Transport Secretary, while Anneliese Dodda has been confirmed as Shadow Chancellor.

Starmer’s start

Over the weekend, the Labour Party elected Keir Starmer as its new leader. The MP for Holborn and St Pancras, 57, won more than 56% of the party vote, beating electoral candidates Lisa Nandy and Rebecca Long-Bailey in one round.

Starmer, a former crown prosecutor, had used his leadership campaign to champion policies aimed at improving social equality and pursuing accelerated action on climate change. He supports the Green New Deal plan set out in the Labour 2019 manifesto. He claims that the ethos of the project should be “hardwired” into every political decision made by the Party both at a national and international level.

He has a generally positive voting record on environmental policies and SERA – Labour’s environment campaign – gave him its important leadership nomination backing.

Matt Mace

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