Posts Tagged ‘shadow cabinet reshuffle’

David Miliband has gone. We now need more “star strikers” in our top team

01/04/2013, 05:58:50 PM

by Renie Anjeh

As Chuka Ummuna put it on twitter “one of Labour’s strikers has left the field”. Many Tory MPs were jubilant at David Miliband’s departure from British politics to run the IRC. They tried to spin this as evidence of Labour lurching to the left, but I could not help thinking that it their joy was really about Labour losing a big beast who Ed Miliband could bring back before 2015.

Last week’s mini-reshuffle showed that Cameron is in constant fear of his backbenchers as they move his party further to the right, but to contrast that Ed needs his own reshuffle to show that he is in command of his ship.

Firstly, he must promote the big beasts of the future. Top of that list should be Stella Creasy and Tristram Hunt as shadow cabinet office minister and shadow universities minister. Caroline Flint could be promoted to another domestic policy brief to allow the entry of Luciana Berger and perhaps Gregg McClymont could join as shadow Scotland secretary with Margaret Curran becoming the new chief whip – as she did a similar job in the Scottish Parliament.

Secondly, Ed needs some good former ministers.  David Lammy is a prime candidate. He is a great thinker especially on social policy, his book “Out Of Ashes” is testament to that and he is full of refreshing ideas especially on social policy.  He could be a reforming Justice Secretary in a future Labour government.


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Captain Miliband’s redoubt: deft, ruthless, doomed.

11/10/2011, 01:00:23 PM

by Dan Hodges

Strange. There I was sitting by the phone, waiting for ennoblement and a fast track onto the Labour front bench, and nothing. Not a peep. Our leader really does have a ruthless streak.

That glaring omission not withstanding, last week’s reshuffle already had the potential for disaster. Following the catastrophe that was party conference, which included an admission from Ed Miliband that he doesn’t even know the name of the guy who’s likely to be heading his party in Scotland, you half expected to wake up to find Chaka Khan had been asked to join the shadow cabinet.

Reshuffles in opposition, particularly those early in a parliament, always have a bit of a deck chairs on the Titanic feel about them. But coming so soon after Miliband’s conference speech vanished with all hands beneath the dark waters of the Mersey, this was more like rearranging the deck chairs on the Carpathia.

To be fair though, Ed Miliband managed to conduct the first independent appointments to his shadow cabinet with a degree of political finesse. The ambition to strike a balance between youth and experience was realised. Key appointments, Chuka Umunna, Rachel Reeves, Michael Dugher and Liz Kendall, are all media savvy operators who have managed to demonstrate over the past twelve months that some substance lies beneath their greasepaint. And the delicate political balance between former Blairites and Brownites has been maintained.

Some have argued the promotion of Dugher, Jon Trickett, Stewart Wood and Tom Watson is evidence of a Brownite ascendency, but that is to overstate the case. “Dugher’s  a sensible politician”, said one Blairite shadow cabinet insider, “and more importantly, he’s a nice guy. We can have a decent relationship with him”. Although viewed less warmly by the Blairites, Wood and Trickett have been established members of Milband’s inner-circle since the leadership election, whilst Tom Watson now exists on an ethereal plain, far above the hum drum daily politicking of Westminster.


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To boldly go… Ed’s relationship with enterprise

11/10/2011, 10:09:15 AM

by Rob Marchant

It’s been an eventful couple of weeks. So, the ship has now set a course and we’ve done the crew changeover. It may be a course that not everyone’s happy with, but let’s face it: they never are, are they? And at least there is a course.

The Tory conference wasn’t a failure, but it wasn’t exactly a runaway success, either. What with Teresa May’s cats and Cameron’s dogs, it seemed sometimes that it was raining very hard last week. And the mess now being caused by Liam Fox has helped us. So let’s be thankful for small mercies and look to the future.

In a year’s time, we’ll be looking to the completion of the policy review. We will be practically at the electoral midpoint, and will know for sure whether regaining the London mayoralty was a real possibility or a pipe-dream (the tea-leaves, admittedly, do not look good on this one). We will then be able to start setting out broad policy lines and start long-term planning for the next election. Things aren’t so bad, right? (more…)

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