Shadow cabinet: the early reaction

The top 3 are all members of Team Balls – Balls himself, wife Yvette Cooper and former housing minister John Healey. MPs backing Balls were decisive in swinging the leadership election to Ed Miliband in the fourth round and have now had a huge influence on the shadow cabinet election. Of the top 10, as the ToryPressHQ Twitter feed has mischievously noted, not a single MP put Ed Miliband down as their first choice in the leadership election.  Of the “gang of four” – the quartet of ex-cabinet ministers who backed Ed Miliband – three managed to get elected (John Denham, Sadiq Khan and Hilary Benn) and one (Peter Hain) did not. How will the Labour leader reward the three who survived, if at all? And poor Peter Hain. – The New Statesman

Yvette Cooper topped the poll last night as Labour MPs elected the “new generation” of senior frontbenchers who will serve under the party’s new leader, Ed Miliband. Ms Cooper strengthened her claim to a senior post, possibly as shadow Chancellor, by winning the votes of 232 of the 257 Labour MPs in the Shadow Cabinet elections. She was one of eight women elected by Labour MPs for the 19 places up for grabs. Mr Miliband is expected to announce today which portfolios the winners will get. John Healey, Labour’s housing spokesman and a close ally of Gordon Brown, came a surprise second, finishing above Ed Balls and Andy Burnham, who both contested the party’s leadership election. – The Independent

Ms Cooper won the most votes, gaining 40 ballots more than the number two, John Healey, and handing her a strong claim to the role of shadow chancellor. Her husband Ed Balls, who lost out in the party’s leadership election, came third. He later tweeted: “We both v happy with the results.” But three former Cabinet ministers crashed out. Peter Hain lost by three votes in a major shock to Westminster. Ben Bradshaw and Shaun Woodward also lost out and all must now fear their careers in frontline politics are over. – Sky

Ben Bradshaw’s failure to make the shadow cabinet is not such a surprise, despite his manifest talents; he didn’t have enough support on the left of the party. More of a shocker is Peter Hain, former Welsh secretary, not reaching the final 19 (by a whisker) despite having been deputy chair of Ed Miliband’s election campaign. Others who might have made it but did not include Chris Bryant,  Diane Abbott (who tends to rub other MPs up the wrong way) and Emily Thornberry, who may still make it to the front bench before long. Hain missed out by just three votes while Thornberry fell short by just one. As for who came in the last three, they were Mike Gapes at 12 votes, Alun Michael at 11 and Eric Joyce with just 10. – The FT

Former ministers Ed Balls, Yvette Cooper, Alan Johnson, and Douglas Alexander won election to the ministerial team of the opposition U.K. Labour party on Thursday. Labour lawmakers, unions and party members picked Ed Miliband as their new leader in late September. Under party rules, members of Labour’s shadow cabinet team are elected but the leader gets to pick among them who does which job. The most closely watched decision Miliband will make is who gets the Treasury position for Labour. Whoever is picked will shape the party’s response to Prime Minister David Cameron and Treasury Chief George Osborne’s austerity measures. Miliband is expected to announce the shadow cabinet lineup Friday. – Wall Street Journal

Peter Hain, MP for Neath, Rhondda MP Chris Bryant and Cardiff West MP Kevin Brennan were notable omissions. Sources within the Welsh party said they expected Mr Hain to be among the five choices left to the discretion of Labour leader Ed Miliband. Mr Miliband has confirmed that there will be a shadow Welsh Secretary in his shadow cabinet and that the post will be held by a Welsh MP. Eight Welsh MPs put their names forward for the shadow cabinet, including Wayne David, David Hanson, Huw Irranca-Davies, Ian Lucas and Alun Michael. – The BBC

SCOTTISH Labour MPs are expected to feature prominently in the new shadow cabinet, currently being selected by leader Ed Miliband. Jim Murphy, Douglas Alexander and Anne McKechin were all elected to the front-bench team, despite previous claims that the elections could see a cull of Scottish MPs from Labour’s top team. – The Scotsman


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