Corbyn appoints Haigh to Labour digital brief

Labour MP Louise Haigh has been appointed to Jeremy Corbyn’s front bench team as shadow Cabinet Office minister for digital.

Labour MP Louise Haigh has been named as the shadow Cabinet Office minister for digital.

Haigh replaces Chi Onwurah, who has moved to a new role as shadow minister for digital industries covering the Department for Culture Media and Sport and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Haigh’s brief, announced in a statement to her Sheffield Heeley constituents, will include keeping ministers to account on issues including the government’s digital strategy.

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She said: “I will be joining the shadow Cabinet Office team as the shadow digital minister with responsibility for the government’s digital strategy, the Freedom of Information Act, data security and privacy.  

“These issues will be of increasing importance in this parliament as we work to ensure that the digital revolution works for the interests of all in society and we navigate the line between privacy and security.”

Haigh was elected to parliament for the first time in May and was one of 36 Labour MPs to nominate Jeremy Corbyn as a candidate in the recent Labour leadership election.

Onwurah, who served in the role from 2013, said she was excited to take on her new brief.

In one of her last statements before moving, she slammed Cabinet Office minister Matt Hancock for failing to announce a replacement for Mike Bracken as government chief digital officer.

She said: “Matt Hancock seems oblivious to the immense opportunities offered and challenges posed by technology and data. Establishing the first Chief Data Officer in March was an important step but just six months later the post has been vacant for a month with no sign of what will happen next.”

Onwurah’s new appointment came as culture secretary Ed Vaizey announced that policy responsibility for data protection has transferred to his department from the Ministry of Justice.

Colin Marrs

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