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Labour announces new local government team

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The Labour Party’s new communities and local government team includes three former councillors and one who plans to continue to serve on Portsmouth City Council.

Alongside shadow communities secretary Andrew Gwynne and shadow minister for local government finance and devolution Jim McMahon, the party has also appointed Yvonne Fovargue, MP for Makerfield in Wigan, and Stephen Morgan, MP for Portsmouth South.

Mr Morgan, who is the first Labour MP to win the Portsmouth South seat since its creation in 1918, was elected to the city council in 2016. Prior to that he was head of community engagement at Kensington & Chelsea RBC.

Ms Fovargue served as a councillor on Warrington BC from 2004 to 2010. She started out as a housing officer in the 1980s and spent 20 years as chief executive of St Helen’s Citizens Advice Bureau.

Mr Gwynne, who gave his first major speech in his new role at the Local Government Association conference last week, was a councillor on Tameside MBC for 12 years where his wife is cabinet member.

Mr McMahon was leader of Oldham MBC for eight years in which role he was involved in the development and negotiation of Greater Manchester’s devolution deal. Writing for LGC last week he said Labour was “the party of devolution”.

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