Key roles for two Northumberland MPs

Guy Opperman MP. Picture by Jane Coltman.
Guy Opperman MP. Picture by Jane Coltman.

Guy Opperman has been given a ministerial role in the new minority government.

The Conservative MP for the Hexham constituency, who was re-elected last week, will serve as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

Ian Lavery MP. Picture by Jane Coltman.

Ian Lavery MP. Picture by Jane Coltman.

His specific remit is pensions and financial inclusion. He will report to David Gauke, who was appointed Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on Sunday.

Mr Opperman, who fully recovered from a brain tumour following diagnosis in 2011, said: “It is a privilege to have this opportunity to undertake a role promoting financial inclusion and helping people prepare for later life, with both a state and private pension.

“Automatic enrolment has been a huge success and I look forward to our efforts to build on this.”

Meanwhile, Ian Lavery has spoken of his delight at being given a top position in Labour’s new shadow cabinet.

The Wansbeck MP has been named party chairman.

He was the joint election co-ordinator for Labour and received praise for the job he was doing by leader Jeremy Corbyn during his speech to party supporters in Blyth a few days before the poll.

Mr Lavery said: “It’s an honour to be given the position of chairman of the Labour Party and in addition to being re-elected to serve the residents of Wansbeck, I feel that nationally we can now continue to shape the future of Britain for everyone – giving Wansbeck a national profile.

“I am thrilled at the opportunity provided by the party and the potential to keep our movement generating the levels of support it has already.

“Together we will build on the vision of the Labour Party to fight for a fair and more equal society and I will use the opportunity of re-election and the new position as party chairman to promote not only our core values as a party, but to fight for equality in all communities, both nationally and locally, including Wansbeck.”