Gareth Thomas to leave shadow charities minister post

Gareth Thomas has been moved out of his post as shadow minister for civil society and in to the shadow Europe portfolio as part of Labour leader Ed Miliband's ministerial reshuffle.

Former shadow children's minister Lisa Nandy has replaced him as shadow minister for civil society. She has been MP for Wigan since 2010 and before that worked in the voluntary sector, as a researcher for Centrepoint from 2003 to 2005, and then as senior policy adviser at the Children's Society from 2005, where she specialised in issues facing young refugees.

Nandy was appointed to the Education Select Committee in July 2010 and became Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Shadow Cabinet Minister for the Olympics, Tessa Jowell, in October that year.

Last year, she was made shadow children's minister with responsibility for safeguarding, children in care and adoption.

She also chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group on international corporate responsibility.

Last night, Thomas tweeted his last act in his role with the sector. "As my final duty as shadow charities minister tonight I spoke in Parliament against the govt's deeply flawed lobbying bill," he tweeted.

He added he was "delighted" with his new Europe portfolio, and to be working alongside Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander.

Thomas had been in the role since October 2011, taking up the charities brief after holding shadow portfolios in higher education and international development. He has been a vocal critic of much government policy regarding charities, and in particular raised questions about the independence of organisations such as the Charity Commission and Big Society Network from the government agenda.

Thomas, who runs on a joint Labour and Cooperative Party ticket and who is chair of the latter, also has dabbled in fundraising, embarking on a triathlon challenge earlier this year to raise money for charity.  

Labour’s new shadow Cabinet team includes Michael Dugher MP who has been appointed shadow minister for the Cabinet Office. He replaces John Trickett MP who is now deputy party chair. 

Lord Stewart Wood, Baroness Dianne Hayter and MPs Jon Ashworth, and Chi Onwurah also have roles in the shadow Cabinet.

This article was taken from Civil Society: http://www.civilsociety.co.uk/governance/news/content/16206