A 47-year-old Indian-origin human rights lawyer has been appointed the Shadow Attorney General by UK’s Opposition Labour party which will see her holding the government’s chief legal advisor to account for their actions.
Shami Chakrabarti, who recently became a Labour member of the House of Lords and also chaired the party’s anti-Semitism inquiry, was confirmed in the new role yesterday in a reshuffle of his top team by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
The Attorney General is UK government’s chief legal advisor and is drawn from the legislature; their shadow holds them to account and develops alternative policies.
“It is an enormous privilege to take up the post of Shadow Attorney General in Jeremy Corbyn’s new team. I hope to follow in a great tradition of law officers on both sides of the aisle who have defended rights, freedoms and the Rule of Law,” the baroness said.
Corbyn, re-elected as Labour party leader after over-coming an attempted coup by some members of his party, also promoted long-time ally Dianne Abbot to the post of shadow home secretary.
Corbyn’s reshuffle of his frontbench team comes after a mass walk-out of shadow Cabinet members opposed to him in the aftermath of the Brexit vote in June.
“I am delighted to confirm the appointments of extremely talented women to our shadow cabinet. These appointments mean, for the first time ever, two out of the three traditional ‘great offices of state’ will be shadowed by women,” Corbyn said.
However, the Jewish Board of Deputies reacted with “disappointment” to the news and linked it to Chakrabarti’s anti-semitism review within the Labour party.
The board’s vice-president, Marie van der Zyl, said: “We are disappointed, but sadly unsurprised, that once again Shami Chakrabarti and Jeremy Corbyn have spectacularly undermined her so-called ‘independent’ report.
“We hoped her report would be a potent weapon in the fight against antisemitism. It now looks increasingly like the whitewash was a job application. She has sold out the Jewish community.”