Working to make government more effective

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer during the first meeting of his new shadow cabinet in central London

Shadow ministers

Shadow ministers provide parliamentary opposition to the government front bench.

Shadow ministers are members of the official opposition party who act as a ‘government in waiting’, scrutinising the work of their counterparts in government and developing policies that they would take forward if elected.  

We look at who shadow ministers are, how they are appointed to their roles and the experience they bring to the job. We also look at how they can prepare for government.

Preparing a shadow ministerial team for office: Lessons from 1997 and 2010

What the last two changes of government tell us about effective transitions.

Read the report
No.10 Downing Street

Support for opposition parties

Through the IfG Academy, we offer practical advice and support – based on IfG research – to opposition politicians and their teams, to help them think through the transition into government.

Find out more
Shadow cabinet members (left to right) Wes Streeting, Yvette Cooper, David Lammy, Rachel Reeves and Angela Rayner, during Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer's speech.