Luton North MP Sarah Owen will be representing Luton at the top table of Labour, after being appointed to the Opposition’s Levelling Up, Communities and Local Government team of Shadow Ministers over the weekend.
Ms Owen, elected for the first time in 2019, will be supporting the Shadow Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Secretary Lisa Nandy in the party’s work of holding the Tory Secretary of State Michael Gove and his department to account.
She will be Shadow Minister for Homelessness, Rough Sleeping and Faith.
The promotion for the campaigning local MP comes after recent figures from the Hansard Project at the University of Huddersfield revealed that Luton has been mentioned more times in 2020 and 2021, following the election of Sarah Owen and Rachel Hopkins (Luton South) in 2019, than in any year since the 1950s.
Ms Owen will also continue her work as an Opposition Whip in Parliament.
She said: “It’s an honour to be able to represent Luton North at the top table. Having a safe place to live is a human right. Politics is always about priorities, and we saw during the lockdowns that with the right political will, we really can end rough sleeping.
“Under the Tories, rough sleeping has more than doubled. But when we look to where Labour is in power across the country, we see that the Labour Mayor of Manchester has cut the number of rough sleepers by nearly 70% and we see our Labour Council here in Luton building social housing, and taking on rogue landlords in the private-rented sector.
“I’m glad to have the chance to spell out how a Labour government will end rough sleeping, and provide a home for everybody.
“It’s also an honour to be leading for Labour on faith issues. I have such respect for people of faith, and for all the faiths that people in Luton worship. Religious discrimination is a real and present danger in our country today, with hate crime having risen during the pandemic. I look forward to working with places of worship and faith groups on the issues that matter to them.”