Worsley and Eccles South MP Barbara Keeley has returned to Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Shadow Cabinet.
The long-time campaigner for carer’s rights has been appointed Shadow Cabinet Member for Mental Health and Social Care.
In office she has co-authored two reports: Carers Speak Out and Primary Carers, and only last Friday hosted a breakfast meeting to bring unpaid carers together in Walkden on behalf of the Carers Trust.
Two Private Member’s Bills put forward by Ms Keeley called for a duty to be placed on the NHS, schools and colleges to identify carers and support them with services, while a third Bill proposed to exempt carers from the much-derided Bedroom Tax.
Ms Keeley resigned from Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet in June amid fears of lack of leadership and opposition to the Conservative Government.
She was among 41 Shadow ministers to resign their posts in the wake of the disastrous Brexit Remain campaign, and following Heidi Alexander’s branding Corbyn “unprofessional” in a scathing Guardian comment piece.
But after the Labour leader won an even larger mandate to lead the party with this landslide victory over challenger Owen Swith, MPs have started to return to the fold.
Ms Keeley has been offered the job to work as the voice of Labour opposition on mental health and social care in the North West and nationally.
In a statement this morning, the Worsley and Eccles South MP said: “I am delighted to have been appointed as the Shadow Cabinet Member for Mental Health and Social Care.
“I know there are many challenges in this role and I will campaign to make both mental health and social care a higher priority than they have been.
“There have been years of savage cuts to social care and over 50% of clinical commissioning groups plan to reduce the amount they spend on mental health this year.
“People deserve better than the decreased NHS services and reduced access to care that they are getting.
“I have worked on carer’s issues and on social care since I became an MP in 2005 and I am determined to be a champion for improvements in care and to services for carers.
“It is time to end the cuts and to start to improve both mental health and social care services.”