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Indian-origin barrister Shami Chakrabarti appointed to UK shadow cabinet

Oct 9, 2016 08:04 IST

Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition, on 7 October 2016 appointed Indian-origin barrister Shami Chakrabarti to the UK’s shadow cabinet.

Baroness Chakrabarti’s appointment as a member of the Lords was met with criticism from prominent Jews and Labour MPs.

Corbyn also handed a major promotion to his long-time ally Diane Abbott, making her shadow home secretary.

Other appointees include Sir Keir Starmer, who has been invited back as shadow Brexit secretary.

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Who is Shami Chakrabarti?

Sharmishta "Shami" Chakrabarti is a member of the British House of Lords and a British Labour Party politician.

She was the Director of Liberty from 2003 to 2016.

When she was the director of Liberty, she campaigned against excessive anti-terror legislation.

She studied Law at the London School of Economics.

After graduating, she was called to the Bar and then worked as an in-house legal counsel for the Home Office.

The Times described her as probably the most effective public affairs lobbyist of the past 20 years.

In April 2016, she was invited by Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn to chair an inquiry into anti-semitism in the Labour Party.

In August 2016, she was nominated by Corbyn to receive a life peerage in the Prime Minister's Resignation Honours.

About Shadow Cabinet

The Shadow Cabinet is a feature of the Westminster system of government.

It consists of a senior group of opposition spokespeople who, under the leadership of the Leader of the Opposition, form an alternative cabinet to that of the government.

Members of a shadow cabinet are often but not always appointed to a Cabinet post if and when their party gets into government.

It is the Shadow Cabinet's responsibility to criticise the policies and actions of the government, as well as offering an alternative program.

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