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Labour reveals shadow universities minister

Shabana Mahmood, MP for Birmingham Ladywood, is replacing Gareth Thomas as shadow universities minister, the Labour party has revealed.

The replacement, which is part of a reshuffle of the party’s shadow cabinet, follows the announcement that Chuka Umanna, MP for Streatham, is to take over from former minister John Denham as the shadow business secretary.

Mahmood, 31, was part of the new intake of MPs in 2010, becoming one of the first Muslim women to be elected to parliament. She served as a shadow minister for the Home Office in 2010-11 and as a member of the work and pensions select committee in 2010.

Mahmood has a BA in law from the University of Oxford and has worked as a barrister specialising in professional indemnity litigation.

Meanwhile, Chi Onwurah, MP for Newcastle upon Tyne Central, will continue as the party’s shadow science and innovation spokeswoman.

Other new members on the team that will shadow the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills are Ian Wright, MP for Hartlepool, and Toby Perkins, MP for Chesterfield. Gordon Marsden, shadow minister for further education, skills and regional growth, and Ian Murray, a shadow business minister, will continue in their existing roles.

At its conference in Liverpool last month, the Labour party voted to change its rules so that shadow cabinets are appointed by the party leader rather than elected by members.