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Torfaen MP Nick Thomas-Symonds appointed to government

Torfaen Labour MP Nick Thomas-Symonds at his desk at the Cabinet Office (Pic: @NickTorfaen/X)

TORFAEN MP Nick Thomas-Symonds has been appointed to the government by Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer. 

Mr Thomas-Symonds has been named as paymaster general and minister in the Cabinet Office with responsibility for the constitution and European relations and will attend the cabinet. 

He has said his priority will be to “reset our relationship with our allies across Europe” and “action on historic injustices”. 

The Labour MP, first elected at the 2015 general election, has been a fixture of the front bench and shadow cabinet since that September. 

Before the election he was a member of the shadow cabinet as minister without portfolio.   

Mr Thomas-Symonds said: “It is a privilege to be asked to serve in Keir Starmer’s Government as Paymaster General and Minister in the Cabinet Office. 

“I would like to thank the people of Torfaen who have once again put their trust in me.  

“My priorities will be to reset our relationship with our allies across Europe, take action on historic injustices, and help restore trust in politics. 

“Labour were elected to deliver change for the British people, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Cabinet to deliver for people in Torfaen, and right across the country.” 

As paymaster general the MP is likely to have responsibility for the infected blood scandal compensation payments to those who were given tainted blood, and their families. 

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During the election campaign Mr Thomas-Symonds tweeted that Labour would “end the injustice of the mineworkers’ pension scheme and ensure miners receive a fairer pension”. 

Under the scheme, agreed 30 years ago, the government is entitled to half the surplus cash but many retired miners say they have been left financially struggling.

Figures released earlier this year show the government has received three annual payments of £142.4m since a 2021 a cross-party committee of MPs said it should stop taking money from the scheme and pay back some of what it had already received. 

At the general election Mr Thomas-Symonds increased his majority to 7,322. It had been 3,742 over the Conservatives in 2019, Labour’s lowest ever winning margin in Torfaen.   

The Reform Party beat the Tories to second place in Torfaen this year. Its candidate Ian Williams gained 7,854 votes, a 22 per cent share, while Mr Thomas-Symonds 15,176 votes equalled a 42.5 per cent share, 0.2 per cent down on Labour’s 2019 share. Conservative Nathan Edmunds had 5,737 votes, a 16.1 share that was 17 per cent down on the party’s 2019 performance. 

Turnout was only 50 per cent which was 11.9 per cent down on the previous election.