UK's Sunak appoints 'shadow' cabinet after historic election loss

UK's Sunak appoints 'shadow' cabinet after historic election loss


The Conservative Party suffered a historic election defeat last week

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LONDON (Reuters) – British opposition leader Rishi Sunak set out his shadow cabinet on Monday, with some senior ministers reprising the roles they held in government prior to last week's parliamentary election, while former Foreign Secretary David Cameron resigned.

Andrew Mitchell will handle the foreign policy brief in the interim shadow cabinet, a team of senior spokespeople picked by the opposition party leader to mirror the cabinet in government.

The Conservative Party suffered a historic election defeat last week with a record number of cabinet ministers, including former defence secretary Grant Shapps, losing their seats.

In his resignation speech, former Prime Minister Sunak took responsibility for the party's election loss while Labour Party's Keir Starmer became the country's new leader on Friday.

Richard Holden, who managed to hold onto his seat by just 20 votes, also stepped down as Conservative Party Chairman, saying in his resignation letter to Sunak that "a thorough review into the General Election campaign" was needed.

"While I will obviously feed into that, this would best take place with a new set of eyes to help provide the clearest view," he wrote.

The shadow cabinet includes James Cleverly continuing to hold the home office brief, while James Cartlidge would handle defence matters, the party's statement said.

"The Conservative Party has had a difficult election and it is important that we regroup and reflect on these results," new interim Chairman Richard Fuller said in the statement.

"We should also challenge ourselves candidly and deeply on the strengths of the Conservative Party across the country and outline where improvements can be made."

Chris Philp will be Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, the party said, taking over from Penny Mordaunt, who was one of the senior lawmakers to have lost their seats. Former business minister Kemi Badenoch was given the "levelling up" brief.

Jeremy Hunt continues with the finance brief, while former deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden becomes deputy leader of the opposition, the party said.