Shadow Cabinet of Michael Foot

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Michael Foot was Leader of the Opposition from 4 November 1980, following his victory in the 1980 leadership election, to 2 October 1983, when he was replaced by Neil Kinnock at the 1983 leadership election. The 1980 election was triggered by James Callaghan's loss at the 1979 general election, and Foot's own disastrous defeat in the 1983 general election.

Until 2011, the Labour MPs elected the bulk of the membership of the Shadow Cabinet. The leader was expected to assign portfolios to those elected, but was able to assign portfolios to MPs not elected to the Shadow Cabinet and to refuse to assign portfolios to elected members. For example, William Rodgers was not given a portfolio despite winning in the 1980 Shadow Cabinet elections. When he left the party months later to help create the Social Democratic Party, Tony Benn automatically joined the Shadow Cabinet. Foot also chose not to give the more radical Benn a portfolio. When Benn lost in the 1981 Shadow Cabinet elections, all the new members received portfolios (Shadow Minister for Europe became a Shadow Cabinet post for the rest of Foot's tenure as leader).

Shadow Cabinet List[edit]

Portfolio Shadow Minister Term
Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition
Leader of the Labour Party
The Rt Hon. Michael Foot 1980–1983
Deputy Leader of the Labour Party
Shadow Foreign Secretary
The Rt Hon. Denis Healey 1980–1983
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer The Rt Hon. Peter Shore 1980–1983
Shadow Home Secretary The Rt Hon. Roy Hattersley 1980–1983
Shadow Secretary of State for Defence Brynmor John 1980–1981
The Rt Hon. John Silkin 1981–1983
Shadow Leader of the House of Commons 1980–1983
Shadow Secretary of State for Industry The Rt Hon. Stanley Orme 1980–1983
Shadow Secretary of State for Employment The Rt Hon. Eric Varley 1980–1983
Shadow Secretary of State for Environment The Rt Hon. Gerald Kaufman 1980–1983
Shadow minister with responsibility for policy development The Rt Hon. Merlyn Rees 1982–1983
Shadow Secretary of State for Energy 1980–1982
The Rt Hon. John Smith 1982–1983
Shadow Secretary of State for Trade 1980–1982
The Rt Hon. Peter Archer 1982–1983
Shadow Secretary of State for Transport The Rt Hon. Albert Booth 1980–1983
Shadow Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food The Rt Hon. Roy Mason 1980–1981
Norman Buchan 1981–1983
Shadow Secretary of State for Social Services 1980–1981
Brynmor John 1981–1983
Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Science Neil Kinnock 1980–1983
Shadow Secretary of State for Health The Hon. Gwyneth Dunwoody 1980–1983
Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland The Rt Hon. Bruce Millan 1980–1983
Shadow Secretary of State for Wales The Rt Hon. Alec Jones 1980–1983
Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland The Rt Hon. Don Concannon 1980–1983
Shadow Minister for Overseas Development Frank McElhone 1980–1982
Guy Barnett 1982–1983
Shadow Minister without Portfolio The Rt Hon. William Rodgers 1980–1981
The Rt Hon. Tony Benn 1981
Shadow Minister for Europe Eric Heffer 1981–1983
Leader of the Opposition in the House of Lords The Rt Hon. The Lord Peart PC 1980–1982
The Rt Hon. The Lord Cledwyn of Penrhos PC 1982–1983
Opposition Chief Whip in the House of Commons The Rt Hon. Michael Cocks 1980–1983
Opposition Chief Whip in the House of Lords The Rt Hon. The Baroness Llewelyn-Davies of Hastoe PC 1980–1982
The Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede 1982–1983
Shadow Attorney General The Rt Hon. John Morris 1980–1981
The Rt Hon. Peter Archer 1981–1982
The Rt Hon. Arthur Davidson 1982–1983

Initial Shadow Cabinet[edit]

Foot announced his first Shadow Cabinet on 8 December 1980, following the 1980 Shadow Cabinet elections.[1]

Changes[edit]

1981 reshuffle[edit]

On 24 November 1981, after the 1981 Shadow Cabinet elections, Foot reshuffled the Shadow Cabinet. Brynmor John moved from Defence to Social Services and was replaced by Silkin, who retained the post of Shadow Leader of the House. Buchnan replaced Mason at Agriculture. Benn, Mason, and Morris were dropped from the Shadow Cabinet. Peter Archer and Eric Heffer joined the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Attorney General and Shadow Minister for Europe, respectively.[3]

Changes[edit]

  • 22 September 1982: McElhone died, replaced by Guy Barnett.
  • 4 November 1982: Lord Cledwyn of Penrhos defeated the incumbent leader in the Lords, Lord Peart, by 60–37.[4] Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede also succeeded Baroness Llewelyn-Davies as Lords Chief Whip for Labour.
  • 24 November 1982: Foot conducted a mini-reshuffle following the 1982 Shadow Cabinet elections. Smith moved from Trade to Energy, and Rees moved to a "policy role".[5] Archer replaced Smith at Trade.[6] In turn, Arthur Davidson replaced him as Shadow Attorney General until he lost his seat in the 1983 General Election, when John Morris returned to the role of Shadow Attorney General (which he would hold through successive leaders until 1997, when he became Attorney General).[7]
  • 20 March 1983: Jones Died, replaced by Denzil Davies[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ William Russell (9 December 1980). "Rodgers out in cold". The Glasgow Herald. p. 1. 
  2. ^ "Labour rebel quits shadow cabinet". The Vancouver Sun. Vancouver, British Columbia. Associated Press. p. A9. 
  3. ^ "Silkin springs to Foot's defence". Evening Times. 24 November 1981. p. 4. 
  4. ^ "No whip's job for Canavan". The Glasgow Herald. 5 November 1982. p. 6. 
  5. ^ William Russell (24 November 1982). "Shadow Cabinet takes on a familiar look". p. 1. 
  6. ^ "Lord Archer of Sandwell". House of Lords Information Office. Retrieved 23 September 2011. 
  7. ^ "Lord Morris of Aberavon". House of Lords Information Office. Retrieved 23 September 2011. 
  8. ^ http://www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/RP10-33.pdf