The appointment of Steve Reed MP as new Shadow Minister for Civil Society has been welcomed by the sector.
The Labour and Co-operative MP for Croydon North has previously held roles as Shadow Home Office Minister and Shadow Local Government Minister, and takes up his new role in deputy leader Tom Watson’s Shadow Culture, Media and Sport team. He had resigned his position as Shadow Minister for Local Government in June this year: one of 15 resignations made in protest of Jeremy Corbyn’s continued leadership. Anna Turley who previously held the role also resigned at this time.
His appointment was welcomed by interim chief executive of ACEVO Asheem Singh, and Charities Aid Foundation chief executive John Low.
Singh said in a statement:
“Steve has always been a strong advocate of community-led public services, and his appointment can help Labour’s policy makers work proactively with civil society leaders to maximise social impact. We are confident that his experience and expertise will help ensure that the voices of charities, social enterprises, co-ops, CICs, mutual and community organisations of all shapes and sizes – and by extension the voices of the most vulnerable that they represent – are heard during this period of social and economic uncertainty.”
“We’re pleased to welcome Steve Reed as the new Shadow Minister for Civil Society. Since being elected to Parliament, Steve has shown a ready willingness to work with charities and through his time as leader of Lambeth Council he clearly understands the contribution that charities can make to building stronger communities.
“There are many substantive issues affecting charities in Parliament at the moment, including the opportunities and challenges presented by Brexit. We look forward to working with him in the coming months.”
Reed also issued a statement on his appointment, saying:
“The challenges the voluntary sector faces are huge. Charities and community organisations are struggling to support growing numbers of people who need their help at a time when funding has been cut. Uncertainty caused by the Tories’ chaotic response to Brexit means charity leaders fear more cuts are on the way.
“I know from my time in local government that community groups, co-ops and mutuals play a huge role in civic life, but they could do even more if given the chance with more open decision making and a fairer share of resources.
“I’m looking forward to working with civil society to challenge a Government that doesn’t really trust, understand or value the community and voluntary sector.”