Erith and Thamesmead’s MP Abena Oppong-Asare joins Labour front bench

Abena Oppong-Asare has been promoted to the Labour front bench

Abena Oppong-Asare, the MP for Erith & Thamesmead, has been given a role on the Labour front bench by party leader Sir Keir Starmer, less than a year after being elected to the seat.

She becomes shadow exchequer secretary, working alongside the shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds on the party’s Treasury team. She became an aide to Dodds in April.

Her promotion comes after a mini-reshuffle caused by the resignations of two MPs who voted against a law allowing criminal conduct by bodies such as police forces in the line of their work.

Oppong-Asare, who replaced Teresa Pearce as the area’s MP in December, said on social media that it was an “honour” to be promoted. “I got into politics to turn anger into action and there’s rarely been a more urgent need for it,” she said. “Lots to do – for my constituents and for all those who are struggling across the country.”

The authoritative LabourList website, which broke the news yesterday, said “the MPs who have been promoted are seen by those close to the Labour leadership as strong broadcast performers, and they are being allocated to policy briefs thought likely to be crucial in 2024”.

She joins neighbouring Labour MP Matt Pennycook, who represents Greenwich & Woolwich, on the front bench. He became the shadow minister for climate in April.

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