New job cheers MP Emily Thornberry after shadow cabinet heartbreak

TWO former Islington councillors have been named in Labour’s shadow cabinet – but current Islington MP Emily Thornberry missed out by a whisker.

Mary Creagh, who was Islington’s Labour group leader between 2000 and 2004 and is currently MP for Wakefield, has been appointed shadow secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs by Ed Miliband. Meg Hillier, who was an Islington councillor from 1994 to 2002, serving as mayor in 1998, and is now MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch, has been appointed shadow secretary for energy and climate change.

For Ms Thornberry though, there was disappointment. The MP for Islington South and Finsbury, who publicly backed Ed Miliband in the leadership contest, lost out by a single point in the ballot for the shadow cabinet, polling 99 votes.

She admits she was “gutted” at first, but her mood was brightened when she was given a job as a shadow health minister this week.

Ms Thornberry said: “It’s not in the cabinet but it’s a fabulous job with a huge brief because the government is trying to reorganise the whole health service and we need to make sure the changes will help patients.

“There will be another election for the shadow cabinet in two years time and we’ll wait and see what happens then.”

“But in the meantime I’m going to be kept very busy being part of the opposition to this terrible government.”