Yesterday saw Labour’s David Hanson replace Chris Bryant as Shadow Minister for Immigration in Ed Miliband’s Shadow Cabinet reshuffle.
David Hanson, MP for Delyn, will shadow Conservative Mark Harper, who has held the post of Minister of State for Immigration since 2012. The change came just a day before the publication of Theresa May’s much criticised Immigration Bill.
On discussing his new brief, Hanson said: “The issue of immigration and how both the current Government and any future Labour Government [handle it] is going to be a key issue on the doorstep in
North Wales and
elsewhere”, reports Wales Online.
Hanson has been on Labour’s frontbench since he joined Tony Blair’s government as a whip in 1998. Not new to the Home Office, he was Minister of State for Security, Counter-Terrorism, Crime and Policing from 2009 to 2010.
He looks set to become a focus of campaigners lobbying for a change in the controversial July 2012 amendments to the family migration rules, which saw the introduction of a £18,600 annual income requirement for those looking to sponsor a non-EEA family member to come to the
The shake-up marks the end of Rhondda MP and former Anglican vicar Chris Bryant’s two-year shadowing of Harper, who is satisfied the rules are working as intended. Bryant, who in August refused to promise to ditch the rules in the event of a Labour election win, will now shadow Rachel Reeves in the Department for Work and Pensions.
The reshuffle also saw Dianne Abbott, whose criticism of Labour’s immigration policy may have contributed to her sacking, get replaced by Luciana Berger as Shadow Public Health Minister.
The announcement of the new Labour frontbench team followed Monday’s surprise appointment of Liberal Democrat Norman Baker to the Home Office.