First-term Erith and Thamesmead MP Abena Oppong-Asare has become the first member of the 2019 intake to join the Opposition frontbench, after being promoted by Keir Starmer in a party reshuffle.

The former Bexley councillor was promoted to the position of shadow exchequer secretary to the Treasury over the weekend and welcomed the news on Monday.

“I am delighted to have been promoted to the role of Shadow Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury at this extremely important time for our country,” she said.

“This will give me the opportunity to really support businesses, employees and those struggling financially through COVID-19 in Erith and Thamesmead.

“I’m looking forward to helping shape Labour’s economic response to the pandemic and holding the Government to account over gaps in support.

“The Chancellor’s refusal to address problems until the last minute is costing jobs and causing chaos.

“I’ve seen the impacts of this in Erith and Thamesmead and across the UK and it is time the Government got a grip of the situation and worked with all parties to find workable solutions.”

Ms Oppong-Asare became one of the first two female British Ghanaian MPs alongside Bell Ribeiro-Addy, after both were elected last year.

The promotion to a role on the opposition front bench means Oppong-Asare will now be responsible for Labour’s economic strategy covering UK growth and productivity, energy infrastructure, energy, environment and climate policy and indirect taxes.

Her first appearance in the role will be at Treasury Oral Questions on Tuesday when she will address Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak MP, at the despatch box.

The reshuffle also saw fellow Labour MPs Wes Streeting and James Murray promoted to the front bench.