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A shadow cabinet is a group of politicians who hold a political post with their party, but whose party are not in government (that is, an opposition party). A member of the shadow cabinet is a shadow minister. The leader of a shadow cabinet is called the Leader of the Opposition.
Each minister of a Cabinet has a corresponding shadow minister. The shadow minister provides an alternative to the minister in the government. The two of them will debate with each other on issues relating to their own area of jurisdiction. For example, the British Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley, will often debate with his Shadow, John Healey, who is known as the Shadow Secretary of State for Health.
The current UK Shadow Cabinet is made up of members of the Labour Party.