Anna Turley given shadow responsibility for charity sector

The role appeared to have been given to Ian Lavery last week, but the Labour Party has now confirmed that though both have 'civil society' in their titles, Turley will have the charities brief

Anna Turley
Anna Turley

Anna Turley, the Labour MP for Redcar, has been given the shadow charities brief, despite the role having appeared to have been given last week to Ian Lavery.

Lavery, the MP for Wansbeck, was announced last week as the shadow minister for trade unions and civil society.

But a press release sent out yesterday on behalf of Tom Watson, deputy leader of the Labour Party and shadow minister for the Cabinet Office, said that Turley had been made shadow minister for the voluntary and community sector and civil society.

Watson’s office said that Turley would hold the charities brief but both her and Lavery would have the phrase "civil society" in their titles.

Turley, a former special adviser in both the Cabinet Office and the Department for Work and Pensions, was elected the Labour and Co-operative Party MP for Redcar at the election in May, winning the seat from the Liberal Democrats.

She is a former deputy director of the local government research organisation the New Local Government Network and set up the Co-operative Councils Innovation Network, designed to enable local authorities to work in partnership with local communities, according to biographical information provided in the announcement.

Turley said the voluntary and community sector faced huge challenges and there was much to be done to challenge the government to build a better climate in which charities could operate.

"It’s been hit by a triple whammy by this government, whose big society idea has been a colossal failure," she said. "It has seen a reduction in its grant funding from the public sector due to the cuts it has endured since 2010.

"Secondly, there are more gaps in local service provision due to the loss of many local public sector preventative services. And, thirdly, there is an increased need for the support and services that the voluntary sector provide for the public, caused by the devastating impact of changes like welfare reform and a low wage economy. To top that off there is the backdrop of huge upheaval in terms of transparency and financial accountability in the sector."

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