MIKE Amesbury has been promoted to a new role with Labour’s Shadow team.

The Northwich MP has been appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Debbie Abrahams.

The role puts him in the team that will scrutinise government policy in how it relates to the work of the Department of Work and Pensions, on issues such as benefits, disability entitlements and pensions.

A PPS is an unpaid assistant to a Minister or opposition Shadow Minister, selected from backbench MPs.

They often advise them on the state of parliamentary or party opinion, and act as a two-way channel of communication between the Minister and backbench MPs.

Mr Amesbury said: “One of the biggest areas of concern for my constituents since I was elected has been the government’s shocking approach to things such as PIP assessments and the shambolic rollout of Universal Credit.

“Myself and my team have seen and heard many examples locally of the suffering caused by these policies and it’ something that comes up at my constituents’ surgeries again and again.”

The move comes just six months after Mr Amesbury, who previously served as a Manchester City councillor for 11 years, took the Weaver Vale seat for Labour from Conservative Graham Evans, who had held the seat for seven years.

He said: “My role as constituency MP for Weaver Vale won’t be impacted at all, and I will continue to put the interests of my constituency first, both locally and in the Commons, at every opportunity.

“But this new role will also allow me represent my constituents’ interests as part of Labour’s front bench team, while also helping to hold the government to account on these extremely important issues.”