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MP returns to shadow cabinet; politician stepped back to focus on keyham community.

Byline: AARON GREENAWAY aaron.jamesgreenaway@reachplc.com @aaronjamesf1

PLYMOUTH MP Luke Pollard has returned to Labour's Shadow Cabinet. The Labour and Co-Operative MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, had temporarily stepped down from his role as the Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in the aftermath of the Keyham shooting in order to focus his full attention on supporting the Plymouth community.

It's been over a month since he made a request to the Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer to temporarily stand down in order to spend more time focusing on Keyham and Ford following the shooting, which saw five members of the community murdered. During that time, the MP has been working with community leaders, Alison Hernandez, the Police and Crime Commissioner, the NHS, Livewell Southwest and Plymouth City Council to put together a funding bid to support those affected by the tragedy; with PS1 million allo- cated to the response in Keyham.

In a statement confirming he had returned to his Shadow Cabinet role, Luke said his work supporting the community of Plymouth would continue, with further meetings arranged with Ministers to discuss more funding set for October. He also confirmed this would take place in tandem with the return to the role of Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Announcing the news, Luke Pollard said: "I am grateful to Keir Starmer for letting me step back from my frontbench duties to focus on Keyham. I am incredibly proud of the way our community has pulled together in the wake of the attack and wanted to ensure my sole focus was on Plymouth at this difficult time. This was a Team Plymouth response, and as a result of working together with Plymouth City Council, the Police and Crime Commissioner, the NHS, Livewell Southwest and the local community we have been able to secure the first tranche of crucial funding.

"I have arranged further meetings with Ministers in October to secure the next phase of funding and support for our schools. My work supporting the community after this tragic incident does not end here.

"It is good to be back in the Shadow Cabinet resuming my responsibilities for the environment, food and rural affairs. With crops rotting in the fields, empty shelves in supermarkets and a shortage of HGV drivers, there's plenty of work to be done to get this Government to sort out the mess they've created."

He said he was grateful to Daniel Zeichner MP for stepping up to the Shadow Cabinet to cover for him over the past month. "With COP26 just around the corner, it's now all hands on deck to get the agreement we need to tackle the climate and ecological crisis," he added.

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MP Luke Pollard, Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

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Author:AARON GREENAWAY aaron.jamesgreenaway@reachplc.com @aaronjamesf1
Publication:The Plymouth Herald (Plymouth, England)
Date:Oct 7, 2021
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