Elections to the Labour Party's Shadow Cabinet (more formally, its "Parliamentary Committee") occurred in November 1989. For these elections the Shadow Cabinet was expanded from 15 to 18 seats and, for the first time, MPs had to cast at least three votes for women.[1]

In July 1989 Labour agreed to increase the number of places on the Shadow Cabinet and introduce positive discrimination to ensure more women were included.[2] After considering several options for increasing the number of women in the Shadow Cabinet, the party voted for Llin Golding's proposal to require all MPs to cast at least three votes for women.[3] As a result of these changes, the Shadow Cabinet elected in 1989 included four women for the first time.[1]

In addition to the 18 members elected, the Leader (Neil Kinnock), Deputy Leader (Roy Hattersley), Labour Chief Whip (Derek Foster), Labour Leader in the House of Lords (Cledwyn Hughes), Chief Whip in the House of Lords (Thomas Ponsonby), House of Lords Shadow Cabinet representative (Joe Dean) and Chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party (Stanley Orme) were automatically members.[4]

The 18 winners of the election are listed below:[1][4]

Retained in the Shadow Cabinet
Joined the Shadow Cabinet
Voted out of the Shadow Cabinet
1 Gordon Brown Dunfermline East 162
2 John Smith Monklands East 153
3 Robin Cook Livingston 141
4 Tony Blair Sedgefield 138
5 Gerald Kaufman Manchester Gorton 134
6 Joan Lestor Eccles 129
7 Jo Richardson Barking 126
8 Jack Cunningham Copeland 125
9 Bryan Gould Dagenham 124
10 Frank Dobson Holborn and St Pancras 118
11 John Prescott Kingston upon Hull East 116
12 Michael Meacher Oldham West 115
13† David Clark South Shields 111
13† Ann Clwyd Cynon Valley 111
15 Donald Dewar Glasgow Garscadden 109
16 Barry Jones Alyn and Deeside 108
17 Margaret Beckett Derby South 106
18 Jack Straw Blackburn 104
19 Ann Taylor Dewsbury 100
20 Martin O'Neill Clackmannan 86
21 Clare Short Birmingham Ladywood 83
22 Llin Golding Newcastle-under-Lyme 82
23 David Blunkett Sheffield Brightside 63
24 Tony Banks Newham North West 62
25 Harriet Harman Peckham 58
26 Tony Benn Chesterfield 42
27† Alan Williams Carmarthen 52
27† Barry Sheerman Huddersfield 52
29 Jeff Rooker Birmingham Perry Barr 50
30 Audrey Wise Preston 46
31 Bob Cryer Bradford South 42
32 Dennis Canavan Falkirk West 41
33 John Garrett Norwich South 33

† Multiple candidates tied for position.


  1. ^ a b c "Brown and Smith top poll". The Guardian. 2 November 1989.
  2. ^ Wintour, Patrick (13 July 1989). "PLP agrees on top jobs for women". The Guardian.
  3. ^ Wintour, Patrick (20 July 1989). "MPs must vote for three women in enlarged shadow cabinet poll". The Guardian.
  4. ^ a b "Kinnock picks his shadow cabinet". The Times. 3 November 1989. p. 9.