Friday 12 July 2024
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Lord Vernon Coaker appointed to new Labour Government as minister

Former Nottinghamshire MP Lord Vernon Coaker has been appointed to Sir Keir Starmer’s government.

The life peer served as MP for Gedling between 1997 and 2019.

He has been named Secretary of State for the Ministry of Defence as part of a raft of appointments announced on Monday.

Lord Coaker lost his seat to Conservative Tom Randall in 2019 by just 679 votes as the marginal constituency turned blue.

The Labour politician was elevated to the House of Lords the following year with the title Baron Coaker of Gedling in the County of Nottinghamshire.

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Lord Coaker served in the Labour Shadow Cabinet as the Shadow Spokesperson for Defence and Home Affairs.

Before entering politics as a Rushcliffe councillor, he spent 20 years as a teacher in Nottingham.

He has remained active in politics, campaigning for local Labour candidates in the run-up to last week’s General Election.

Michael Payne, who successfully re-captured the seat for Labour, tweeted his support.

“Congratulations to my predecessor and good friend Vernon Coaker on his appointment as Minister of State in the Ministry of Defence,” he said.

“He brings a wealth of experience to this crucial role and is an outstanding public servant. Well done Vern!”

Alex Norris, Labour MP for Nottingham North & Kimberley said: “Vern’s the very best of Labour and I’m delighted to see him in such a crucial role.”

The most pressing issue for Lord Coaker to confront at the Ministry of Defence will be the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The new Defence Secretary John Healey has pledged to continue the UK’s support for its ally during a trip to Odesa at the weekend.

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