New prime minister Keir Starmer appoints Cabinet members and other ministers

New prime minister Keir Starmer appoints Cabinet members and other ministers
Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events

Posted: Fri 19th Jul 2024

Following the Labour Party's landslide victory in the General Election, Keir Starmer is appointing members of his Cabinet and junior ministers.

We're keeping this post updated as appointments are announced.

Key Cabinet appointments relevant to small businesses:

  • Rachel Reeves: Chancellor (the UK's first female chancellor)

  • Jonathan Reynolds: Business secretary

  • Peter Kyle: Science, innovation and technology

Enterprise Nation founder Emma Jones said:

"We're delighted to see the work of change happening so promptly with Secretary of State for Business Jonny Reynolds setting up the team at the Department of Business and Trade and welcome Peter Kyle, secretary of dtate at the Department for Science Innovation and Technology.

"Entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses will play a crucial role in creating the growth our economy needs to see and we're rolling up our sleeves to support this urgent work.

"We're also pleased to see a record number of female MPs and the first ever female chancellor of the exchequer. One of our key asks to this government is to help bridge the funding gap for female entrepreneurs."

As the General Election 2024 exit poll was announced, Enterprise Nation members shared their instant reaction. Read what they had to say here.

Read Enterprise Nation’s small business manifesto for the new government here.

Other key ministers of relevance to small businesses:

The full portfolios for ministers in the Department for Business and Trade, including who is the new small business minister, have not yet been officially confirmed.

New appointments are:

Department for Business and Trade

  • Gareth Thomas: Parliamentary under-secretary of state in the Department for Business and Trade

Writing on X, formerly Twitter, business secretary Jonathan Reynolds said:

“Labour is determined to bring the voice of small business into the heart of government and deliver on our plan for SME’s [sic]

“They could not have a better champion in @gareththomasMP”

Thomas is also the MP for Harrow West. Enterprise Nation is currently delivering Harrow Digital Bootcamps, a government-funded programme helping entrepreneurs in Harrow build a thriving digital business.

  • Douglas Alexander: Minister of state in Department for Business and Trade

  • Sarah Jones: Minister of state in Department for Energy and Net Zero and Department for Business and Trade

  • Justin Madders: Parliamentary under-secretary of state in the Department for Business and Trade

Department for Science, Innovation and Technology

Backed by top technology firms, Enterprise Nation's Tech Hub is a new-generation, one-stop-shop solution that allows businesses to access industry-leading digital tools, training, support, and know-how to succeed, all in one place. Take me to the hub

Labour's pledges for small businesses

In Labour's General Election manifesto and 'plan for small business', the party made several pledges for small businesses, including:

  • Tackle late payments by legislating to require the audit committees of big businesses to report on their company’s payment practices.

  • Scrap business rates and replace it with a system of business property taxation that is "fairer for bricks and mortar businesses".

  • Revitalise high streets by tackling anti-social behaviour with new town centre police patrols, creating a new specific offence of assault against retail workers, and giving councils powers to take over empty shops and reopen them.

  • For the period of the next parliament, cap the headline rate of corporation tax at its current rate of 25%, and "will act if tax changes in other countries pose a risk to UK competitiveness".

  • Increase in high street banking hubs.

  • Retain annual investment allowance for small business, and "give firms greater clarity on what qualifies for allowances to improve business investment decisions".

  • Boost small business exports by publishing a trade strategy that businesses have helped shape, looking at ways to remove the barriers to exports for firms of all sizes, improving guidance to make exporting easier, "make Brexit work by improving on the Conservatives' thin deal", and pushing for an EU visa waiver for UK touring artists.

  • Focus on skills with new technical excellence colleges connected to local economic needs, and reforming the apprenticeship levy as a new growth and skills levy.

  • Cut energy bills for small businesses, create commercial opportunities for them and deliver security with a "cheaper, zero-carbon electricity system" by 2030.

  • Make the UK "the best place to start up and scale up" by reforming the British Business Bank to better support SMEs in regions across the UK and unlocking the supply of patient capital for technology-intensive, early stage businesses.

  • Improve small businesses' access to public sector contracts with a "national procurement plan" that includes cutting red tape and requiring that at least one small or medium sized business makes the shortlist when any smaller, suitable contract goes out to tender.

  • Support creative SMEs, and prevent the loss of local cultural spaces through "Space to Create", which Labour describes as "the first national cultural infrastructure map".

Other Cabinet appointments:

  • Angela Rayner: Deputy prime minister and levelling up, housing and communities secretary

  • Pat Mcfadden: Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

  • David Lammy: Foreign secretary

  • Yvette Cooper: Home secretary

  • John Healey: Defence secretary

  • Shabana Mahmood: Justice secretary

  • Wes Streeting: Health secretary

  • Bridget Phillipson: Education secretary

  • Ed Miliband: Energy security and net zero secretary

  • Liz Kendall: Work and pensions secretary

  • Louise Haigh: Transport secretary

  • Lisa Nandy: Culture, media and sport secretary

  • Hilary Benn: Northern Ireland secretary

  • Ian Murray: Scotland secretary

  • Jo Stevens: Wales secretary

  • Darren Jones: Chief secretary to the Treasury

  • Lucy Powell: Lord President of the Council, and Leader of the House of Commons

  • Baroness Smith of Basildon: Lord Privy Seal, and Leader of the House of Lords

  • Alan Campbell: Parliamentary secretary to the Treasury (chief whip)

  • Richard Hermer KC: Attorney general

Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events
I'm a freelance content creator and event host who helps small businesses and the organisations that support them. I'm also Enterprise Nation's Local Leader for Bristol. I have 20 years of experience as a small business journalist having interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs from famous names like Sir Richard Branson and Deborah Meaden to the founders behind brand new start-ups. I've worked for a range of leading small business publications and support groups, most recently as head of content at Enterprise Nation where I was responsible for the prolific output of content on the company's blog and social media. I now freelance for Enterprise Nation as the website's news reporter and as the host of the Small Business sessions podcast. I'm based in Bristol where I run and host regular events with the local small business community in my role as Enterprise Nation's Local Leader for Bristol. I also have strong connections with other major business organisations in the south west region. In total, I've hosted over 100 events including conferences with an audience of hundreds for international brands like Xero and Facebook and live web chats from inside 10 Downing Street. With my partner, I co-run Lifestyle District, a lifestyle blog focused on culture, art, theatre and photography.

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