Sir Keir Starmer MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, has asked the Bristol South MP to take the role of his Parliamentary Private Secretary.
“Brexit will dominate Parliamentary discussion for months and years to come, since the terms of our withdrawal from the EU will influence every area of our lives,” says Karin Smyth. “There is no more important matter facing the country and I believe it is vital that we in the Labour Party play a full role in influencing the agenda. So, having reflected carefully on the approach to join the team, I was pleased to accept, and I look forward to the challenges ahead.
“Importantly, the role fits with my own local priority areas such as post-16 opportunities and the NHS because of the impact Brexit will have on these.
“Of course, my primary focus remains on my Bristol South constituents whose lives, like those of people up and down the country, will be profoundly affected by the shape of the Brexit the Tory government delivers. Like the country as a whole, residents here were split almost down the middle when it came to the referendum, with strong opinions held on both sides of the argument and it is important that all voices are heard as Labour holds the government to account on its strategy.”
Karin Smyth will remain a member of the Public Accounts Committee.
The role of a Parliamentary Private Secretary is as the key Commons aide to the Shadow Secretary of State, supporting and providing the main conduit through which they maintain contact with MPs.
Sir Keir Starmer MP shadows Rt Hon David Davis MP, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, whose role includes:
-The policy work to support the UK’s negotiations to leave the European Union and to establish the future relationship between the EU and the UK
-Conducting the negotiations in support of the Prime Minister including supporting bilateral discussions on EU exit with other European countries
-Working very closely with the UK’s devolved administrations, Parliament, and a wide range of other interested parties on what the approach to those negotiations should be
-Leading and co-ordinating cross-government work to seize the opportunities and ensure a smooth process of exit on the best possible terms