Barry is Labour's Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade and Shadow Minister for International Climate Change. He has been serving in this role since October 2016. Barry was first appointed to Labour's shadow cabinet in June 2016, leading on energy and climate change. With changes in government departments after the vote to leave the European Union, he was appointed the Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade, Europe, Energy and Climate Change in July 2016.
Prior to these positions, Barry served on Labour's front bench as the Shadow Minister for the Natural Environment and Fisheries from 2013 and then Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate Change from September 2015. Barry was previously Ed Miliband's Special Envoy for Climate Change & the Environment. His first appointment was as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in April 2004, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Trade and Industry in May 2005 and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at DEFRA between May 2006 and June 2007. He served as the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on Forestry between 2007 and 2008 and as Private Parliamentary Secretary to Lord Mandelson in the Department for Business, Innovations and Skills between 2009 and 2010.
Barry has always been very active in parliament, serving on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee, the Energy and Climate Change Select Committe, the Public Accounts Select Committee and on the Broadcasting and Procedure Select Committees. He has stood on the Finance Standing Committee and scrutinised the budget for three years in a row and played a significant role in scrutininsing the Energy Bill through his membership of the Energy Bill Committee. Barry has also been a member of many parliamentary groups including chairing the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Sports and Leisure and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Commonhold and Leasehold Reform.
Barry founded and currently chairs Labour Friends of India and the All-Party Parliamentary Group UK - India Trade & Investment as well as the All-Party Parliamentary Chinese in Britain Group.
Barry is the European Vice-President of the Global Legislators Organisation (GLOBE International) and served as the international Chairman of the Board until 2013.