Labour is not moving to the right of the political spectrum but to the north of the country, Lisa Nandy has said.
The former shadow foreign secretary’s comment comes amid being moved to shadow levelling-up secretary under Labour leader Keir Starmer’s reshuffle.
The reshuffle has been criticised for moving the party away from the left-wing under former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and towards centre-right, in order to win the next general election.
But Nandy told Sky News: “We’re moving north; left or right, you can keep that debate. We’re going out into the country and we’re going to start delivering for people in towns, villages and cities that have been completely and utterly abandoned by the political system.
“You go to Grimsby, you go to Barnsley, you go to Aberdeen, you will find proud communities that have a contribution to make.
“But so often they are held back, not by the skills of their young people, not by the abilities in those communities, not by their own ambition, but by a national government that isn’t investing in the infrastructure that would bring good jobs.”
Nandy, who will now hold to account secretary of state for levelling Up, housing and communities Michael Gove, said her new role feels “a little like coming home”.
“For the entire time I’ve been in Parliament, for the last 11 years, I’ve been fighting for politicians of all political parties to take seriously the fact that there are people across this country who have watched good jobs and investment leave our communities,” she told BBC Breakfast.
She added: “That we have got a level of ambition that just isn’t matched by politicians of any political party, certainly not this one, for our futures, for our young people, for our towns and for our villages.
‘We must demonstrate we are the right choice in the next general election’
“Finally I can say that that is going to change and I am going to make it my mission to bring Labour home to people and to deliver on promises that the government simply isn’t capable of doing.”
Keir Starmer said his reshuffled top team will show UK voters that Labour deserves to win the next general election.
He said: “With this reshuffle we are a smaller, more focused shadow cabinet that mirrors the shape of the government we are shadowing.
“We must hold the Conservative government to account on behalf of the public and demonstrate that we are the right choice to form the next government.”
He added: “I look forward to working with the new team to show we are once again a serious party of government, ready to fix the mess the Tories have got the country into and to inspire voters to believe that Britain’s best days are ahead of us.”