Jim McMahon, MP for Oldham West and Royton, has been named as the new Shadow Secretary of State for Transport by Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer. He succeeds Andy McDonald, who moves on to become Shadow Employment Rights and Protections Secretary.
First elected to the House of Commons in a by-election in December 2015, Jim McMahon was appointed Shadow Minister of State for Local Government and Devolution in October 2016.
Before entering Parliament, he was Labour councillor for Failsworth East ward on Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council. He became leader of the council in 2011 and was one of the 11 members of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, having responsibility for transport.
He was awarded an OBE in the 2015 Birthday Honours for services to the community in Oldham.
On announcing his new shadow cabinet, Keir Starmer said: “I’m proud to have appointed a Shadow Cabinet that showcases the breadth, depth and talents of the Labour Party.
“This is a new team that will be relentlessly focused on acting in the national interest to respond to the coronavirus pandemic and rebuilding Labour so that it can win the next election.”
TSSA (Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association) union leader Manuel Cortes said: “I have no doubt Jim McMahon will be a key ally in the fight for continued sustained investment in our public transport network, which is run for people rather than profit. Thankfully, Jim will be able to build on the excellent work of Andy McDonald and his team over the past four years.
“Not only did Andy consistently hold the Tories to account, his work was vital in making the case for public ownership of our railways.
“It’s a tribute to him that putting people before profits across our railways and beyond is now accepted within our Party and amongst the general public. Even the Tories have now nationalised most of our transport networks, albeit apparently temporarily.”
Representing the industry, Darren Caplan of the Railway Industry Association (RIA) said: “The Coronavirus outbreak provides a real challenge to the railways, and the UK rail industry is working hard to overcome these challenges. Whether maintaining the existing network or building, safely, the world-class railway we all want to see for the future, rail suppliers really are working flat-out to ensure key workers and resources can move across the country, and to support the economy. They have all of our gratitude at this most difficult of times.
“Both through the Coronavirus outbreak and afterwards, we look forward to working closely with the new Shadow Transport Secretary, to ensure there is a strong rail supply sector that supports passengers, freight services and the UK plc, its economy and connectivity more widely, in the months and years ahead.
“I would also, on behalf of RIA and our members, like to offer sincere thanks to outgoing Shadow Transport Secretary Andy McDonald, who was very supportive of, and accessible to, the rail supply sector and a strong advocate of providing a consistent, visible pipeline of work for the railway industry. We congratulate him on his new role as Shadow Employment Rights Secretary and look forward to continuing to work with him in Parliament.”