Tower Hamlets MPs take up shadow ministerial roles

EAST End MPs Rushanara Ali and Jim Fitzpatrick have been appointed to Labour’s shadow ministerial team.

Newly elected Bethnal Green and Bow MP Ms Ali takes up a post working with Harriet Harman in the shadow international development team whilst Mr Fitzpatrick returns to transport, as a member of Maria Eagle’s team there.

The Poplar and Limehouse MP served as a Minster for London in Tony Blair’s government before becoming Under Secretary of State for Transport for two years during Gordon Brown’s premiership and a year as Minister for Farming and the Environment.

He said he hoped to bring his experience in government and familiarity with the transport brief to his new role with the challenges of the Transport for London upgrade and development of the Crossrail route having particular importance in London.

Ms Ali said her role would involve scrutinising the Coalition’s record on international development.

She worked on human rights policy at the Foreign Office and has seen development issues first hand through travel in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan and when working as a parliamentary assistant to former Bethnal Green and Bow MP Oona King.

She said: “I hope that the kind of things I can do is link development with the climate change agenda. I’m interested in getting the public more aware.”

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She said young people are passionate about climate change but she thinks it has fallen off the agenda with the new government.