Liz Kendall appointed as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

MP for Leicester West, Liz Kendall, has been appointed as the new Secretary of State for Work and Pensions at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

MP for Leeds West, Rachel Reeves, has also been appointed as Chancellor of the Exchequer, making her the UK's first female Chancellor.

The appointments were announced following Labour’s landslide win in the 2024 election, which saw Keir Starmer announced as Prime Minister.

Elected as the Labour MP for Leicester West in May 2010, Kendall was Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions since September 2023, having also previously been Shadow Health Minister.

Ahead of the election, Kendall said that Labour would have a "relentless focus" on championing decent pensions for all, and stressed the importance of gaining cross-party support on pension reforms, arguing that this is needed to build a change that lasts.

Her appointment comes at a busy time for pensions, with industry experts having already outlined their top pension priorities for the new Labour government, and the new Pensions Minister is expected to face a number of ‘day one’ challenges.

However, commenting on the appointment, Aptia UK president, Malcolm Reynolds, said that Kendall “brings an interesting skill set to the role of secretary of state for work and pensions”.

“We are encouraged by her direction in the past, particularly her work and time spent as shadow minister for care and older people,” he continued.

“As per our comments earlier today, the role must not be seen as a stepping stone as it has so often in the past. There is a lot of work ahead in our sector, particularly around pension reforms, and we need those reforms as well as everything else to be handled carefully and overseen by someone who truly cares for pensioners today and in the future. Hopefully Liz is that person.”

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