Helen Clark, Lead Author for the APPG on A Fit and Healthy Childhood has warmly welcomed the appointment of Rosena Allin-Khan as Shadow Minister for Mental Health in Labour Leader Keir Starmer’s new Shadow Cabinet.
Helen Clark, who is also Spokesperson for the Charter Campaign, said:
‘This appointment marks an historic landmark in the way that mental health – and in particular, children’s mental health – is regarded in public life. For the very first time, the Labour Party has made the post of Mental Health Minister a full Shadow Cabinet post instead of being a junior front bench role.
Our APPG and the Child Mental Health Charter Campaign have argued that we are facing a most severe crisis in in children’s mental health problems and we have demanded that the forthcoming amendments to the 1983 Mental Health Act (as announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the December 2019 Queen’s Speech) MUST include the urgent needs of children at the heart of the new legislation.
This is the very first time that the role of Mental Health Minister has been given Shadow Cabinet status by any political party. It indicates indeed that the Labour Party, Her Majesty’s Official Opposition under the new leadership of Keir Starmer, is giving this issue the utmost importance. I would like to congratulate Rosena in particular at this time. She has kindly addressed our APPG in the past and I am looking forward to meeting her in her new role once the lockdown is over. Meanwhile, it is wonderful that the MP who has returned selflessly to the frontline as an A&E doctor at this time of national emergency will drive the Official Opposition’s policy on children’s mental health. They will be in safe hands with Dr Khan.’