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Straight from a visit in Hamilton to a sunny street stall in my own constituency.
16 Apr 2015

Goodbye to Defence. Hello to International Development.

I have hugely enjoyed my time as Shadow Secretary of State for Defence.
Labour has a strong foundation in defence with policies to be proud of and built upon.
Labour's campaigning to support veterans and our Forces, through measures such as the Veterans' Interview Programme guaranteeing service leavers job interviews, shows how much we value those who serve and have worked to give them greater opportunities.
Our support for a continuous-at-sea deterrent demonstrates our commitment to UK national security.
Labour's advocacy for giving service personnel greater skills combined with our plans to manage the MoD budget show our commitment to defence reform.
The changes we have made to the Party, for example attracting over 800 new military members and creating a new campaigning body, Labour Friends of the Forces, highlight our determination to be a party of and for the Armed Forces.
I would like to thank all who have been in the Shadow Defence Team - Kevan Jones, Gemma Doyle, Alison Seabeck, Russell Brown, Bridget Phillipson, David Hamilton, Michael Dugher, Richard Rosser and Denis Tunnicliffe - for their hard work.
There is an exciting future for Labour and defence, just as there is with international development, which is why I am looking forward to getting on top of my new post and building on the achievements of Ivan Lewis.
I have long argued that the best defence policy is often first class diplomacy or world class development policy. Development is central to our national security as well as upholding our national values of tolerance and justice which transcend our borders. I will work to ensure Labour's position of global leadership in arguing for a progressive, targeted aid policy is maintained, working closely with our international allies and world-leading NGOs.
Labour's history is deeply internationalist and that is where our future lies. I may have changed jobs but l will go about this new role with just as much commitment and energy.

Today I've also spoken with Alistair Darling and I look forward to playing a bigger role in the Better Together campaign.
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Showing comments 1 to 4 of 4

Dear Jim,
i am most disappointed that you have lost the Defence portfolio. I have been most impressed the way that you and your team have grasped the issues facing today's Armed Forces and the way you all have  resolutely fought for the interests of soldiers, sailors and airforce personnel has been impressive. My best wishes for your new portfolio where as you say there is also a great deal of work to be done. On a more parochiol note I suppose the move has got you off the hook to run next year's London Marathon on behalf of the RAF Benevolent Fund! My best wishes. Allan Vaughan
Comment by Allan Vaughan on 08 Oct 2013
Comment by Jiesheng on 07 Oct 2013
In simple terms, why should I vote NO, and be "Better Together"? 

Best regards.
Comment by Col on 07 Oct 2013
Hi Jim,'m sorry that you have lost your role as shadow defence secretary but I congratulate you on obtaining your new role in international development. I am sure that you will be just as good in this role as you were in your previous role. I wish you all the best for the future!

Ash :)
Comment by Ash on 07 Oct 2013

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