Elections to the Labour Party's Shadow Cabinet (more formally, its "Parliamentary Committee") occurred on 14 June 1979, following the Party's fall from power at the May general election that year. In addition to the 12 members elected, the Leader (James Callaghan), Deputy Leader (Michael Foot), Labour Chief Whip (Michael Cocks), Labour Leader in the House of Lords (Lord Peart), and Chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party (Fred Willey) were automatically members.

Tony Benn, who had been Secretary of State for Energy in the outgoing Callaghan ministry did not seek election to the Shadow Cabinet as he opted to return to the back benches "for the time being".[1]

The 12 winners of the election are listed below:[2]

1 Denis Healey Leeds East 153
2 John Silkin Lewisham Deptford 148
3 Peter Shore Stepney and Poplar 136
4 Roy Hattersley Birmingham Sparkbrook 133
5 Eric Varley Chesterfield 129
6 Stan Orme Salford West 128
7 Albert Booth Barrow and Furness 122
8 Bill Rodgers Stockton-on-Tees 112
9 Merlyn Rees Leeds South 110
10 David Owen Plymouth Devonport 101
11 Roy Mason Barnsley 98
12 John Smith North Lanarkshire 88


  1. ^ Parkhouse, Geoffrey (11 May 1979). "Benn goes it alone in gamble for power". The Glasgow Herald. p. 1. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  2. ^ Geoffrey Parkhouse (15 June 1979). "Shore steps up as Owen is demoted". The Glasgow Herald. p. 1.