Elections to the Labour Party's Shadow Cabinet (more formally, its "Parliamentary Committee") took place on 4 December 1980, having been delayed due to the October election of new Party Leader Michael Foot. In addition to the 12 members elected, the Leader (Foot), Deputy Leader (Denis Healey), 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.

Two winners of the 1979 election were not re-elected: Healey was elected Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, so did not need to run for election to the Shadow Cabinet. David Owen did not return. He informed Michael Foot of his decision not to run in November, after the PLP rejected "one member, one vote" and it became clearer to him that he would be defecting. Not long afterward, he joined Bill Rodgers (who did win a seat in the Shadow Cabinet), Shirley Williams, and Roy Jenkins in founding the Social Democratic Party. Because of Rodgers's defection, Tony Benn joined the Shadow Cabinet in January 1981 by virtue of being the top loser.[1]

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

Retained in the Shadow Cabinet
Joined the Shadow Cabinet
1 4 Roy Hattersley Birmingham Sparkbrook 143
2 5 Eric Varley Chesterfield 141
3 Gerald Kaufman Manchester Ardwick 139
4† 9 Merlyn Rees Leeds South 125
4† 3 Peter Shore Stepney and Poplar 125
6 6 Stan Orme Salford West 119
7 2 John Silkin Lewisham Deptford 118
8† 7 Albert Booth Barrow and Furness 116
8† 8 Bill Rodgers Stockton-on-Tees 116
10 11 Roy Mason Barnsley 114
11 12 John Smith North Lanarkshire 112
12 ? Neil Kinnock Bedwellty 90
13 ? Tony Benn Bristol South East 88
14 ? Bruce Millan Glasgow Craigton 82
15 ? Brynmor John Pontypridd 80
16 ? Eric Heffer Liverpool Walton 71
17 ? Denis Howell Birmingham Small Heath 69
18 ? Norman Buchan West Renfrewshire 67
19 ? Dickson Mabon Greenock and Port Glasgow 63
20 ? Tam Dalyell West Lothian ?
? ? Robin Cook Edinburgh Central 56


  1. ^ "Labour rebel quits shadow cabinet". The Vancouver Sun. Vancouver, British Columbia. Associated Press. p. A9.
  2. ^ Geoffrey Parkhouse (5 December 1980). "Benn the top loser out in the cold". The Glasgow Herald. p. 1.