Labour deputy PM to take on levelling up, housing and communities brief from Lisa Nandy as part of reshuffle

The Labour Party has appointed its deputy leader, Angela Rayner, to shadow the levelling up, housing and communities brief, taking over from former leadership contender Lisa Nandy.

In a tweet, the party said Rayner, who is MP for Ashton-under-Lyne, has been made shadow deputy prime minister and shadow secretary of state for levelling up, housing and communities, as part of an expected reshuffle by Labour leader Keir Starmer.

Angela Rayner portrait

Rayner takes the levelling up, housing and communities job from Lisa Nandy

Rayner is the elected deputy leader of the Labour Party, and has until today had a job shadowing the running of the Cabinet Office, which affords her a relatively low media profile.

Rayner, born and raised in Stockport, describes herself as a socialist on the “soft left” of the Labour Party, and replaces Nandy after nearly two years in the job.

Nandy, who has been Labour’s shadow housing secretary since November 2021, has been moved to become shadow minister for international development, in what is being seen as a demotion for the Wigan MP.

It is unclear whether Labour’s shadow housing minister, Matthew Pennycook, who has been seen as driving much of the party’s detailed policy thinking around housing and planning, is set to retain his role in the reshuffle. A spokesperson for the party said only that the reshuffle was still ongoing and that more announcements would be forthcoming.

Earlier in the summer Rayner, who will now have the job of taking on Michael Gove, challenged deputy prime minister Oliver Dowden on the Conservative government’s housing track record, accusing him of making families “sick with worry about the cost of the Tory mortgage bombshell”.

Rayner also accused the government of overseeing a 116% rise in the use of no-fault evictions by private sector landlords.

Dowden said a Labour government would pursue “endless borrowing”, thereby driving up prices.