Nick Thomas-Symonds and his hometown, Blaenavon.
Nick Thomas-Symonds and his hometown, Blaenavon.

The Queen has been pleased to approve that Nick Thomas-Symonds MP be sworn of Her Majesty’s most Honourable Privy Council.

The news was announced on Friday, 12 February, and Mr Thomas-Symonds’ appointment will be confirmed at the next meeting of the Privy Council, after which he will be able to use the title “Right Honourable”.

The Privy Council of the United Kingdom is a formal body of advisers to the sovereign, comprising senior politicians who are current or former members of either the House of Commons or the House of Lords. Members of the Privy Council are appointed by the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister. Members of the Privy Council are appointed for life.

As an Opposition Privy Councillor, it means Mr Thomas-Symonds will have briefings “on Privy Council terms” giving him access the Government’s confidential information. Mr Thomas-Symonds will also have the duty of attending an Accession Council if a new monarch is to be appointed.

The Privy Council’s history traces back to the earliest days of the Monarchy, when it was made up of those appointed by the King or the Queen to provide advice on matters of state. Dating back to Norman times, it is one of the oldest parts of our UK Government. Its meetings are reported in the Court Circular.

Mr Thomas-Symonds’ appointment to the Privy Council follows his holding a number of senior frontbench roles for the Labour Party since he was first elected to the House of Commons in 2015: Shadow Pensions Minister, Shadow Employment Minister, Shadow Solicitor-General, Shadow Security Minister, Shadow Welsh Office Minister, and, most recently, he was appointed Shadow Home Secretary by new Labour Leader, Rt Hon Keir Starmer QC MP, in April 2020.

Nick Thomas-Symonds MP said:

“It is the honour of my life to represent Torfaen in Parliament: the constituency where I was born, was brought up, and have always lived. I am grateful, as always, to the people of Torfaen for their support over three General Elections. To now be appointed to the Privy Council is a great privilege. Having access to important confidential information is important at any time to provide scrutiny, but it is particularly important at a time of national crisis, during the Covid pandemic.”

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