Dawn Butler has been appointed as Labour’s new shadow women and equalities spokeswoman, HuffPost UK has learned.
Highly rated by Jeremy Corbyn, Butler is currently shadow diverse communities minister and a member of his top team in the Shadow Cabinet.
Her expanded role means she will replace Sarah Champion, who was ousted from the equalities post after writing in the Sun newspaper that Britain had “a problem with British Pakistani men raping white girls”.
Corbyn said last week it was right that Champion resigned, because she had been “wrong to designate an entire community as the problem” of grooming in the UK.
The Labour leader said: “I am delighted to appoint Dawn Butler as Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities.
“Dawn is a great champion for women, equality for all and our country’s diverse communities. I look forward to working closely with her to advance our agenda of a truly equal society that works for the many not the few.”
Butler, who is expected to continue her diverse communities role, paid tribute to her predecessor.
“I am honoured to accept this appointment and would like to thank Sarah Champion for all the hard work she has done in the role.
“Labour will tackle all forms of discrimination and the ways they interact. Equality is equality, you can’t pick and choose. I have always fought for those who feel voiceless and I will fight to deliver real equality in our country.”
Butler, a Labour MP under Blair and Brown, lost her seat in 2010 but returned to Parliament in 2015 in Brent Central. She won a big increase in her majority as part of the “Corbyn surge” in 2017.
Butler quit the shadow team earlier this year as she defied the party line to vote against Article 50 legislation triggering Brexit, but after the general election was reappointed to her previous post.
During the election, she regularly introduced Corbyn at rallies, including his first campaign speech in Westminster Central Hall.
Butler even coined the joke that was repeated by some activists that “There’s one undisputed fact: June always marks the end of May!”