Even the most loyal Labour Party supporter would probably admit that the party has not had a glorious past few months. But in revealing its team to hold the government to account on Brexit, Labour has shown that it can still put forward strong, serious and credible candidates to scrutinise the Brexit process. Theresa May’s team should prepare for some forceful opposition from these MPs:
Although only elected to Parliament in 2015, Sir Keir has capably made the transition from barrister and Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to a political role. He brings his forensic legal mind to the role of Shadow Spokesperson for Exiting the EU. As a QC and later as DPP he successfully navigated through cases of high-profile political interest, such as the investigation into Cabinet Minister Chris Huhne MP, the so-called Twitter Libel case and the investigation into the Metropolitan Police’s role in Ian Tomlinson’s death during 2009 G20 protests.
The former Labour Party leadership candidate was a rising star as a minister in the last years of the New Labour government. While her moderate positions are out of fashion in today’s left-wing party, Cooper is still touted as a possible future leader. She successfully shadowed the then Home Secretary Theresa May for several years and now takes up the influential role as Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, giving her a good platform to investigate a wide range of public issues, including Brexit-related affairs such as immigration and security cooperation.
Benn is a true Labour Party grandee, having held Cabinet positions in Environment and International Aid under Prime Ministers Blair and Brown, as well as several high-profile shadow ministries since Labour’s defeat in 2010. He has clashed with Jeremy Corbyn over the renewal of the UK’s nuclear deterrent (which Benn supports). Benn will chair the new Parliamentary Select Committee on Exiting the EU. With a strong grasp of policy and considerable experience, Benn can be expected to make full use of this role, which gives him a very wide remit to examine all aspects of the Brexit process.