Express & Star

'I have not stopped working since appointment' Wolverhampton's Pat McFadden, the only Black Country MP in Cabinet

Wolverhampton MP Pat McFadden is the only representative of the Black Country in Labour's first cabinet since 2010.

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The 59-year-old who masterminded Labour's landslide was appointed Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, which dates back to the 15th Century, by Sir Keir Starmer.

Now the position is responsible for the cabinet office and help the Government deliver its agenda across all departments. Mr McFadden's new office is attached to 10 Downing Street.

Sir Keir Starmer rewarded the Wolverhampton South East MP after delivering power through his Labour national campaign co-ordinator position. There was no time to savour the historic victory for Mr McFadden, he had to travel to Westminster for an audience with the new PM just hours after being declared victor in his constituency at Aldersley Stadium.

Mr McFadden told the Express & Star: "I was appointed on Friday afternoon and started work straight away. I met my new team on Friday afternoon and have been working since then having various meetings.

"My new office overlooks Horse Guards parade ground which is a great view and we are attached to the Prime Minister's office."

Mr McFadden is now a full member of the first Labour cabinet since 2010 and is pleased to have been entrusted with such a crucial role.

He said: "Previously when Labour was in power I attended cabinet and was a minister of state but I was not a member of the cabinet, which I am now.

"It is hard to explain what the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster does but it is like the engine room of the Government and has a lot of functions."

Mr McFadden will be responsible for the National Security Council, Government procurement and the secretariat of the administration. After working closely for more than a year on the General Election the new Prime Minister appointed Mr McFadden to a role which will require the pair's partnership to be pivotal to its success.

He added: "I will be working with the Prime Minister closely and the office is physically attached to 10 Downing Street. My role is cross-departmental and will involve delivering what we promised during the campaign."

The role dates back to 1361 when the Duchy of Lancaster became part of the Crown and the first chancellor Sir Henry de Haydock ran the estate on behalf of the state. Previous holders of the post include Winston Churchill, who was demoted to the role after being held responsible for the disastrous Gallipoli campaign as First Lord of the Admiralty and resigned six months afterwards in 1915. Other notable politicians given the job include Cecil Parkinson, Norman Tebbit and Kenneth Clarke. As the role morphed into the politician responsible for the Cabinet Office with a cross-departmental aspect it is now seen as one of the most important jobs in Government.

Mr McFadden is the only member of the Government from the Black Country, he said: "I was checking the appointments of ministers to see if I would be joined by someone else from the Black Country but it seems not.

"This Parliament will include a lot of new Labour MPs who have never sat in the House of Commons so it will be really interesting watching how they get on."

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