Labour MP Steve Reed appointed Shadow Home Office minister

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

South London Labour MP Steve Reed has been made a Shadow Home Office minister in the party’s reshuffle.

Mr Reed was elected MP for Croydon North in a by-election in November 2012, making him the UK’s newest openly gay Member of Parliament at the time.

The by-election had been mired in controversy after Winston McKenzie, the UK Independence Party’s candidate, told a local newspaper that gay people should not be allowed to adopt children.

Referring to Mr McKenzie in a PinkNews interview in February, Steve Reed said: “He didn’t target me personally but he did raise the issue of equal marriage and of gay and lesbian adoption. Both of those he attacked in really quite intemperate terms, but was slapped down on all sides. It didn’t get any traction with the electorate.”

Mr Reed also expressed regret at Gordon Brown’s failure to support marriage equality as prime minister. The former Labour leader finally endorsed marriage rights for same-sex couples in February.

He voted for the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act at third reading in May – but was absent from the Commons during February’s second reading vote – undertaking work with the United Nations.

Mr Reed was named one of the three most influential council leaders in the country by the Local Government Chronicle in 2011.

The former leader of Lambeth Council was also the highest-ranked Labour politician in the Independent on Sunday’s 2010 Pink List.

Elsewhere in Labour’s reshuffle, Spencer Livermore, a gay former senior adviser to Gordon Brown, has been appointed Labour’s General Election Campaign Director.

Meanwhile, gay Labour MP Stephen Twigg has been demoted from Shadow Education Secretary to Shadow Minister for Justice.

Gay Labour MP Chris Bryant will now shadow the Department for Work and Pensions.