Posts Tagged ‘new shadow cabinet’

Dan Hodges deconstructs the new shadow cabinet

09/10/2010, 09:00:35 AM

ANOTHER HURDLE cleared. The lot of the new leader. Evade the obstacles, real and imagined.

First conference speech. Check. First shadow cabinet. Check. First grilling by Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby. Tough one. But check.

As with every other make or break moment Ed Miliband will face over the next few months, yesterday’s was definitive. “It will test his maturity and decisiveness”, warned the Independent.

Well, unless he was planning to order the shadow cabinet to turn up to their first meeting in fancy dress, or delay the announcement till boxing day, Ed was always likely to scrape home this time. An examination of his leadership skills? Yes. But the reintroduction of shadow cabinet elections ensured that it was a straightforward multiple choice, rather than a full blown thesis.

Put aside the hype. Ed Miliband played a relatively weak hand well. (more…)

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The new shadow cabinet: who are they and what do they mean

07/10/2010, 08:51:32 PM

Douglas Alexander (160 votes)

Reponsible for Gordon Brown’s election campaign and David Miliband’s leadership campaign, wee Douglas (as he used to be known when he was GB’s Parliamentary amanuensis in the early nineties) is not looking very lucky at the moment. But he got on the shadow cabinet without running much of a campaign and will expect a better job than he might otherwise have got, in token of the new leader’s magnanimity.

Ed Balls (179 votes)

Won the leadership campaign by a mile, but lost the election by a similar distance. It’s widely considered to be a toss-up between him and his wife, Yvette Cooper, for the shadow chancellorship, which he has made no secret of wanting. With David Miliband all but out of the picture, one could argue that the tone of Labour’s next five years will be set by what Ed M decides to do with Ed B in the next few days. And what Ed B decides to do back.

Hilary Benn (128 votes)

A minister for nine years, including seven in the cabinet, Hilary Benn is more experienced than he seems. It says a lot not just for his longevity, but for the way he colonised his two main briefs, that it’s hard to imagine him shadowing other than DEFRA or DECC.

Andy Burnham (165 votes)

Very well liked and quite well respected before the leadership campaign, Andy Burnham emerged even more popular but probably less highly esteemed. His campaign lacked ideological bite, but the man himself is a straight-down-the-line Blairite right-winger. As such, he will be an important pole in Ed Miliband’s big tent.

Liam Byrne (100 votes)

Hasn’t lived down the “no money left” note yet. But he will. Much younger than he looks (he turned 40 last weekend), he is an over-achiever with a Harvard MBA and fast-tracked ministerial career. Sees himself as a future leader. Took soundings this time over a possible Byrne bid, made the right choice on finding no real market. It’s not quite in his script that the new leader is the same age as him. Or that he had to work extremely hard to scrape onto the shad cab. But he did. Liam does not do failure. Which is why we need him. (more…)

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