Election 2024

Catherine McKinnell appointed education minister

MP was shadow schools minister, but exact DfE role has not been confirmed

MP was shadow schools minister, but exact DfE role has not been confirmed

Catherine McKinnell has been appointed as a minister of state at the Department for Education.

The Newcastle North MP had served as shadow schools minister since last year. Her exact role at the DfE is yet to be confirmed.

She joins education secretary Bridget Phillipson, who was appointed on Friday following Labour’s landslide election win. Jacqui Smith, a former schools minister and home secretary, was appointed as a DfE minister on Saturday.

The government also announced today that Phillipson has, alongside her education brief, been appointed minister for women and equalities, meaning the role now sits back in the DfE.

Anneliese Dodds will also cover the brief alongside her role as a minister at the Foreign and Development Office.

The last minister for women and equalities was Kemi Badenoch, the former business secretary.

The role previously sat in the DfE when it was held by education secretaries Nicky Morgan and Justine Greening.

About the new minister

A former member of the Parliamentary education committee, McKinnell has been an MP since 2010.

McKinnell grew up in Newcastle and attended Sacred Heart Comprehensive School in Fenham. She studied politics and history at Edinburgh and then Law at Northumbria before working as an employment solicitor.

She was shadow solicitor general from 2010 to 2011 before a brief stint as shadow children’s minister between 2011 and 2012.

The MP then served as shadow exchequer secretary to the Treasury from 2012 to 2015 and then briefly as shadow attorney general from 2015 to 2016. Until this week, she was chair of Parliament’s petitions committee.

This is a breaking news story which will be updated.

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