21/09/2021 18:18 BST

Anneliese Dodds Appointed As Labour's New Shadow Women And Equalities Secretary

Dodds replaces Marsha de Cordova who left the frontbench role last week.

Jacob King - PA Images via Getty Images
Anneliese Dodds will work alongside Coventry North West MP Taiwo Owatemi, who has been chosen as shadow minister for women and equalities.

Anneliese Dodds has been appointed as the new shadow secretary for women and equalities after Marsha de Cordova abruptly left the frontbench role.

Former shadow chancellor Dodds, who is also the chair of the Labour party, will take up the post with immediate effect.

Meanwhile, Coventry North West MP Taiwo Owatemi has been chosen as shadow minister for women and equalities after the previous holder of the role, Charlotte Nichols, took a leave of absence for personal reasons.

Dodds said: “I’m delighted to accept the position of shadow secretary of state for women and equalities and look forward to maintaining Labour’s proud record of promoting equality.

“I want to pay tribute to Marsha de Cordova and Charlotte Nichols for the fantastic work they did for those facing discrimination and prejudice, and to hold Liz Truss and the Conservative government to account for their appalling failures.”

Owatemi added: “Championing equality and celebrating who you are goes to the heart of why I first stood to be a member of parliament.

“I am looking forward to working alongside the brilliant Anneliese Dodds as we hold this government and its woeful track record to account and continue to develop Labour’s Race Equality Act.”

Last week de Cordova resigned as shadow women and equalities secretary on the grounds that she wanted to focus more on her marginal constituency of Battersea.

There has been some concern that the contentious debate over trans rights and women’s rights has made some MPs reluctant to take up the role, which is increasingly regarded as a “poisoned chalice”.

One MP said many in the party were “too terrified” to talk about the debate, which reached a head last week after Canterbury MP Rosie Duffield announced she would not attend Labour conference after receiving advice that her safety could be compromised.

The MP said Dodds was “sensible” and that taking on the role worked well with her review of Labour policy.

But they added: “I don’t envy her one bit”.