Louise Haigh MP appointed Transport Secretary; Peter Hendy new Transport Minister

Louise Haigh, the Labour MP for for Sheffield Heeley has been named as Transport Secretary in new Pime Minister Sir Keir Starmer’s cabinet.

Directly before being elected as MP for Sheffield Heeley in the 2015 General Election, Haigh worked for three years as public policy manager for multinational insurance company Aviva. In this role she was responsible for corporate governance and responsible investment policy, says New Civil Engineer.

After being elected, Haigh’s maiden speech in the House was about the reform of financial services. “If we are to secure a sustainable economy that delivers benefits for all, we must transform the way our economy works, incentivising investment in green, productive industries and penalising those short-term industries and practices that have done our economy and society such harm,” she said.

Nine months after the 2015 General Election, a study of the 177 new MPs that had joined found that Haigh was the most active. She had made 90 speeches and asked 471 parliamentary question in this period.

Within six months of her first election, Haigh became a shadow Cabinet Office minister. Over the next four years she moved to shadow minister in Culture, Media and Sport then shadow minister in the Home Office.

Her first shadow cabinet role was as shadow secretary of state for Northern Ireland, which she took up in April 2020. She held this position until being named shadow secretary of state for transport when Starmer shuffled his shadow cabinet in November 2021. She remained shadow transport secretary up until the calling of the General Election in May 2024.

Shortly before the General Election Haigh was quoted as saying: “As shadow secretary of state for transport, I see investment in rail and public transport as the engine of the transformation we need to see. Not just because of every £1 invested in rail contributes £8.50 to the economy, not just because rail accounts for 10% of all passenger journeys but just 1% of carbon emissions, but because rail and public transport connects the talented young students to their chosen college, widens job opportunities for local people and drives the economic opportunities that we need to see in order to connect our regions and nations and drive investment into the areas of the country that have been neglected for too long.

“That’s why I want to see a rolling programme of electrification, Northern Powerhouse Rail and HS2 delivered in full. It’s essential to turn the tide on our incredibly unequal country, it’s essential to help tackle the climate crisis and it would be a huge vote of confidence in our regions and nations.”

The Prime Minister has also appointed former TfL Commissioner and current Chair of Network Rail Peter Hendy, Baron Hendy of Richmond Hill, CBE, as Transport Minister. Further governmental appointments will follow this week.


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