Gordon Marsden to carry FE flag for Labour again as new Shadow Skills Minister

Former Shadow Skills Minister Gordon Marsden has been confirmed to take on the role again, this time with an expanded remit.

Mr Marsden, MP for Blackpool South, previously held the position from May 2010 until October 2013, before he was succeeded by Liam Byrne, MP for Birmingham Hodge Hill, who stepped down from the role this week.

Mr Marsden will now report into both the Shadow Business Secretary and the Shadow Education Secretary, which means his role is more closely aligned to that of Nick Boles, Skills Minister.

Born in 1953, Mr Marsden grew up near Stockport in Cheshire, and attended Stockport Grammar School before heading to New College, Oxford to study Modern History.

He then went on to postgraduate studies at Harvard University in the US, as a Kennedy Scholar in politics and international relations.

Prior to entering politics, Mr Marsden edited History Today magazine for 12 years, and was an Open University tutor.

Mr Marsden was elected in 1997 as Blackpool’s first Labour MP. During the Labour government he served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to a number of different Secretaries of State, including Tessa Jowell, then Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.

Prior to his re-appointment as Shadow Skills Minister, Mr Marsden had been Shadow Transport Minister from October 2013 to September 2015.

The FE sector will also have another champion in the shadow front bench in the form of Nic Dakin, MP for Scunthorpe County. The former principal of John Leggott College in Scunthorpe has been appointed as a Shadow Education Minister.

Mr Marsden has not yet commented on his appointment.

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