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Ming’s hot shoe shuffle Mar 08

Ming has been unveiling more of his new frontbench team today.

Sarah Teather goes to education; Ed Davey to trade and industry; Susan Kramer to international development; and Jo Swinson to Scottish afffairs.

I don’t find Teather’s appointment inspiring, although it makes sense to move Davey (and the DTI suits his economics background) and Sarah has been solid on tuition fees (my bête noire) in the past, pointing out in the Commons that she was still paying off her student loan. Good to see Kramer and Swinson promoted. It’s a shame the latter has got a pretty light, and unimaginative, brief, but it’s an opportunity to gain frontbench experience. Given that Julia Goldworthy and Jo Swinson have been promoted, it seems unthinkable that the third “J”, Jenny Willott, won’t go up too, and Welsh affairs, mirroring Swinson, seems her most likely home. But, if that’s the case, whither Lembit? And who will get the newly-vacated ODPM role?

Update: The new team is shaping up on the party website. Nick Harvey appears to have taken defence, beating Sandra Gidley, who goes to health under Steve Webb. Alistair Carmichael replaces Tom Brake at transport and Don Foster stays shadowing DCMS. David Heath, David Laws and Lembit stay put. Andrew Stunnell replaces Teather at ODPM and will stand down as Chief Whip.

Update the second: Simon Hughes is to do constitutional affairs and keep his previous post of Shadow Attorney General. David Heath loses that (but remains Shadow Leader of the House), and will be “Shadow Cabinet Office Minister”.

8 Responses

  1. 1
    Rob F 

    Is this reshuffle running a bit late? Ming’s hangers-on seem to have been telling the press at conference that it would happen on Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday. Needs to pick up the pace and do a second round of announcements today if it’s going to be ‘on schedule’.

  2. 2

    Maybe Lembit’s staging a sit-in.

  3. 3
    Rob F 

    Tom Brake, John Thurso and Sandra Gidley are being nominated for select cttees.

  4. 4

    Whither Andrew George?

  5. 5

    Hmm. shall not mourn andrew george (should have been sacked over section 28) or gidley (needs to concentrate on the seat and is good on gender equality. I thought I was hallucinating when I saw Harvey back. I think krammer could have handled soemthing bigger.Hmm.

  6. 6

    Gregg: Andrew George, along wih Daddy Thurso, is out of the shadow cabinet. Whether either of them gets one of the shadow ministerial roles still to be announced remains to be seen.

  7. 7

    Hi Will.

    “Sarah has been solid on tuition fees (my bĂȘte noire) in the past, pointing out in the Commons that she was still paying off her student loan.”

    What argument does that make against tuition fees? I don’t get it.

    Surely it actually suggests that carrying a graduate debt hasn’t harmed Sarah’s career progression much.

  8. 8

    It isn’t an argument on it’s own, of course, and I forget the context. It does show a concern about burdening graduates with large amounts of debt.

    Becoming an is hardly part of a typical career progression.