Tag Archives: reshuffle

++BREAKING: Lynne Featherstone to replace Norman Baker at Home Office, Lindsay Northover to go to DFID

I have to say I’m pretty chuffed with Nick Clegg’s announcement that Lynne Featherstone is going back to the Home Office for the final 6 months of this Government. She spent the first two years there and in that time did all the set-up work for the Same Sex Marriage Bill. Since she’s been at DFID, she’s maintained a good working relationship with the Home Office because she’s been implementing a cross-Government plan to tackle FGM that involves them. I hope that she might also be able to dig her Transgender Action Plan out of the long grass where it’s …

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How – or will – Nick Clegg replace Norman Baker in the home office?

jenny willottNorman Baker’s decision to quit as Lib Dem home office minister — citing significant differences with his boss at the department, the Tories’ Theresa May — means a vacancy has opened up. How will Nick Clegg fill it? We’re unlikely to have long to wait, but here are what I see as his options…

Nick could simply promote a current MP. If he does so, then the obvious choice would be Jenny Willott. She covered Jo Swinson’s maternity leave at the business department, earning good reviews along the way. A promotion …

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Danny Alexander, not Vince Cable, designated Lib Dem shadow chancellor (oh, and no Lib Dem reshuffle)

speech danny alexander 6The Guardian’s Nick Watt reports today the long-trailed announcement that Danny Alexander, Lib Dem chief secretary to the treasury, will take on the role of the party’s shadow chancellor at the 2015 election:

Nick Clegg has decided that Alexander, his closest ally in the cabinet, will be the Lib Dem Treasury spokesman during the campaign and will face George Osborne and Ed Balls in any television debates on the economy. … The Lib Dems insisted that the election roles for Alexander and Cable were consistent with their cabinet roles. A Lib Dem spokesman said: “We are enormously fortunate to have two talented and well-known ministers on economic matters that are recognised and respected by the public. By the next election Danny Alexander and Vince Cable will have both served for five years as chief secretary and business secretary respectively, so they know their areas inside out. It therefore makes complete sense that they should continue in those roles during the election.”

I’ve made no secret of my view on this: there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Vince Cable should have continued in the role he held in 2010 as the party’s shadow chancellor. He is, quite simply, head and shoulders above any of his colleagues when it comes not only to understanding the British economy, but, just as crucially, explaining it in a way that is both credible and distinct from the Tories.

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Did Nick Harvey turn down the job of Lib Dem chief whip?

nick harvey weaponSir Nick Harvey, summarily sacked as defence minister by Nick Clegg a year ago, was offered a job in government at last week’s reshuffle — at least according to James Forsyth in the Mail on Sunday:

The Lib Dem leader had hoped Nick Harvey would be his Chief Whip. But, to Clegg’s surprise, Harvey turned down the job. ‘Clegg was gobsmacked,’ one Lib Dem tells me. The Deputy Prime Minister didn’t expect him to reject an invitation to join his inner circle. Harvey had been sounded out about taking

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Reshuffle redux: how Lib Dem members rated the ministerial performances of the sacked and the promoted

I posted earlier the most recent ratings by Lib Dem members of the party’s government ministers. Here’s how those affected by the reshuffle have done over the three-plus years we’ve been running our members’ surveys

Sacked

Michael Moore (Secretary of State for Scotland, May 2010 to Oct 2013)

michael moore performance

Jeremy Browne (Minister – Foreign Office, May 2010 to Sept 2012; Minister – Home Office, Sept 2012 to Oct 2013)

jeremy browne performance

David Heath (Deputy Leader – Commons, May 2010 to Sept 2012; Minister

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Today’s Lib Dem reshuffle: 4 thoughts from me on what it means

Four quick thoughts from me on what today’s Lib Dem reshuffle means..

1. Nick feels secure enough to be ruthless.

Sacking both Michael Moore and Jeremy Browne is not something Nick would have been able to contemplate a year ago. Then – with the economy still mired in recession, his apology video still fresh in the memory, and Vince reminding everyone he stood ready, willing and able should the need arise – Nick was vulnerable, in need of allies. Now – with the economy recovering, Eastleigh defended and all key conference votes won – Nick feels able to asset himself.

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Sometimes it makes sense to take one of your best players off the field – but it hurts

michael-moore-mp-secretary-of-state-for-scotlandWhen I was about 10, I had a bit of an obsession with football. I quickly grew out of it, I hasten to add. I had my favourite players, most notably Sandy Jardine, Alan Rough and, above all, Kenny Dalglish. These three could do no wrong in my young opinion. Even then I knew playing for Partick Thistle was a good thing.

I used to get very irked whenever one of them was substituted, especially when they were playing well. I just couldn’t see why you would take off a proven performer …

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In full: Nick Clegg’s and Michael Moore’s exchange of letters

As we reported earlier, Michael Moore is to leave Government and will be replaced as Scottish Secretary by Alistair Carmichael.

When a Minister leaves office, there is always an exchange of letters between them and their party leader. Here is the exchange between Mike and Nick Clegg:

Nick Clegg’s letter to Mike Moore:

Dear Mike

I want to thank you for the vital role you have played as Secretary of State for Scotland over the past three years.

You became Scottish Secretary in 2010 at a critical time in Scotland’s relationship with the rest of the United Kingdom and you have managed the challenges of

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+++ Carmichael replaces Michael Moore as Secretary of State for Scotland

From the BBC:

Michael Moore has been sacked as Secretary of State for Scotland and replaced by Alistair Carmichael, another senior Liberal Democrat.

The move comes as a reshuffle of Conservative and Lib Dem ministers in the coalition government is under way.

Mr Moore was a leading figure in the No campaign ahead of the referendum on Scottish independence next September.

Moore had been Secretary of State since he replaced Danny Alexander at the end of May 2010.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie praised Mike Moore’s achievements and welcomed Alistair Carmichael’s appointment. He said:

Mike Moore is leaving on a high after

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Opinion: After the reshuffle: how can we still claim internationalism?

The reshuffle: the talking point of the last few days. I’m sure we all feel a bit angry and flustered after the Tory side was announced – Hunt at health, Miller as equalities. It really could not have been much less liberal. Our side, though, may at first appear entirely less interesting, and far more acceptable. There were some great moves in the reshuffle, sure. Jo Swinson as an Undersecretary of State. David Laws is back. This reshuffle, though, has cut out something essential to the Liberal Democrats: our internationalism. Lib Dems gone from FCO. No Lib Dems in the MOD. One minister, Lynne Featherstone, in DFID. And Lynne’s briefing (at the time of writing) has still not been an announced. This reshuffle represents an almost complete retreat from international affairs.

Internationalism is one of the things the Lib Dems pride ourselves on: our attitude to the European Union is really quite distinctive amongst mainstream politics, we work closely with our sister parties, and our opposition to the Iraq war was certainly amongst the most vocal. Foreign Affairs is not a fairly ‘non-partisan’ area, as I had it put to me. There are huge divergences in Liberal Democrat and Conservative policy here, and now we have absolutely no one fighting our corner, it seems. Even Lynne in DFID isn’t really going to have much of a say: when behind-closed-door discussion takes place on the European Union, the Eurozone crisis, our involvement in NATO, renewal of Trident, and our relationship with the US, particularly with the upcoming Presidential elections, and other big issues at the moment, DFID are hardly the most involved.

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Little known reshuffle fact: there are now MORE Lib Dem ministers

Compared to many a previous government reshuffle, this week’s went at a pretty standard rate. It felt, however, slower. Slower because our speeded up news cycle and appetite for instant updates, fed above all by Twitter, means that spreading out a series of announcements over several hours feels slow and bitty.

You don’t have to go very far back in time for a reshuffle that takes a good part of the day still to feel quick to most as it would all be heard about in one wrap-up report in the evening news, a further one in the next day’s paper …

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Lib Dems should have had no part in ‘Knights of the Long Knives’ reshuffle honours

Nick Harvey’s had a tough week. On Tuesday his ministerial career was brought to an abrupt and surprising halt when Nick Clegg told him he was ‘trading’ his post of armed forces minister for a Lib Dem foothold in another department.

The North Devon MP has been a victim of his own success. So shrewdly has he overseen the Trident nuclear weapons review — the crunch defence decision which divides Lib Dems and Tories — that it is highly likely to produce more effective, better value deterrent options, with a final decision not needed until 2016, after the next …

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LibLink: Stephen Tall – Will the reshuffle actually matter?

Our own Stephen Tall has been analysing the Reshuffle over at Endeavour Public Affairs.

He says that an opportunity to pursue a more radical economic agenda has been missed:

The Government should be building on this with a radical and popular agenda to create a more competitive and much, much fairer economy, as I argued here on LibDemVoice.  This would mean further banking reform than currently proposed, for example by separating completely retail and investment banking, and parcelling up and selling on the currently state-owned banks into a number of smaller ones to create greater plurality in the system.  More than this, it

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Reshuffle thoughts: how does it score against my four criteria?

Ahead of the reshuffle, I posted four criteria against which the Liberal Democrat part of the shuffling should be judged. Now nearly all the details are in, how does it look?

 

Most importantly, have people been put in jobs they’ve got a decent chance of doing well? It’s hard enough being a minister in the smaller party in a coalition government without having lots of people thrown into policy areas they are completely new to.

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What the three departing Lib Dem ministers have said as they leave government

You can catch up on the rolling LibDemVoice live-blog of today’s reshuffle here and the current list of official Lib Dem appointments here.

Three Lib Dem ministers are at the time of writing departing the Coalition Government for the backbenches. Each of them has issued statements as follows:

Sarah Teather, Liberal Democrat MP for Brent Central:

It has been a huge privilege to serve as an education minister in the coalition government over the last two and a half years. I’m hugely proud of the part I have been able to play in ending child detention, and rolling out the

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Opinion: Reshuffle to the Right

The official line is that today’s reshuffle is all about prioritizing the economy – with reasonable evidence for this with Ken Clarke staying on with an economic brief; Cameron beefing up the Whip office and thus backbench discipline; and appointing someone with previous experience of that role – Patrick McLoughlin – to Transport to push through infrastructure projects like HS2.

But the commentary from Twitter to the BBC is already painting this as a move to the right. Lib Dem tweeters are suddenly gloomier about the lifetime of this coalition, but here’s what I think: the Tories have inadvertently given us …

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Government Reshuffle live blog

As I’m going to be doing little else than sip Earl Grey while watching the News channel for reshuffle news, I thought it might be a good idea to have an open thread to cover events. If you want a laugh, you can have a look at the predictions I made last night.

So, what do we know so far?

Well, Andrew Mitchell, the former International Development secretary was last night appointed Chief Whip.

Sayeeda Warsi is not going to be Party Chairman any more.

Ken Clarke is moving from Justice and is expected to have a Minister without Portfolio role to advise …

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Reshuffle round-up: it looks like good news for Swinson & Laws

There’s been plenty of reshuffle chit-chat overt the past few weeks, much of it speculative. However, the Sunday papers appears to included some pretty well-sourced information which went beyond the usual space-filling ‘who knows?’, and appears to suggest good news for both Jo Swinson and David Laws — both of whom enjoyed strong support in our recent survey of members’ preferred back-bencher promotions.

First, The Observer reported that David Cameron’s reshuffle will bring whips back to the fore, with an enhanced whips office incorporating both old-handers and young-turks to help the Tory leader re-assert a grip on his increasingly …

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Jo Swinson, Julian Huppert & David Laws top Lib Dem members’ reshuffle promotion wish-list

Lib Dem Voice polled our members-only forum recently to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Some 500 party members have responded, and we’re publishing the full results.

LDV asked: Which backbench Lib Dem MPs who are not current ministers would you like to see promoted? (Please write-in.) (NB: I’ve set the cut-off for inclusion in this list at 5 individual mentions.)

    Jo Swinson 77
    Julian Huppert 73
    David Laws 66
    Tim Farron 25
    Duncan Hames 21
    Simon Hughes 19
    Andrew George 16
    Tessa Munt 16
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What do we Lib Dems want from a reshuffle?

While the massed ranks of the mostly right-wing political commentariat obsess about the imminent Cabinet reshuffle, Lib Dem interest has been relatively muted.

In one sense this isn’t surprising.

As it stands, 18 of the party’s 57 MPs are on the government payroll, so Nick Clegg has little room for manouevre even among the middle ranks of government. And with only five cabinet positions (four if you exclude Nick himself as Deputy Prime Minister) there’s even less wiggle-room at the top table. Nonetheless, this reshuffle will most likely be …

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Who Lib Dem members want to see stay/axed in the next Cabinet reshuffle

Lib Dem Voice polled our members-only forum recently to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Some 500 party members have responded, and we’re publishing the full results.

LDV asked: In the next couple of months David Cameron and Nick Clegg are likely to hold a Cabinet reshuffle. For each of the following 28 Cabinet members please say whether a) they’re doing a good job and should stay in their post, b) they could be doing a better job but should still stay in their post, c) they’re doing a poor job and should be removed from their post or d) Don’t Know/Never heard of them…?
NB: To produce the overall ‘net stay in post’ figures, below, I’ve added together the first two options (a and b above) and subtracted the third (c).

All the data is available below, but here are the key two Top 5s for those who want the quick skinny.

Top 5 cabinet members Lib Dem party members think should stay in post:

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The Tory reshuffle in full

Following the news this morning of Ken Clarke’s return to the Tory front-bench, PoliticsHome lists all the changes:

The Rt Hon Kenneth Clarke QC MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform

Mark Francois MP
Shadow Minister for Europe

Alan Duncan MP
Shadow Leader of the House of Commons

Chris Grayling MP
Shadow Home Secretary

The Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Justice

Nick Herbert MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Shadow Minister for Women

Eric Pickles MP
Chairman

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Opinion: January Reshuffle – Big Surprises and the Liberal ‘Big Beasts’ (Part II)

Part Two – Beyond the Big Beasts (To read Part I – Two Big Surprises – published yesterday, please click here).

Lynne Featherstone has clearly earned a promotion to shadow Ed Balls at the Department of Communities and Local Government, with her work around the ‘Baby P’ case. And David Laws would better suit a move to Energy and Climate Change, where he could make a good case for the economics of our green policies and be an effective opponent of Ed Miliband, thought by many to be the more talented Miliband brother and certainly someone to be …

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Opinion: January Reshuffle – Big Surprises and the Liberal ‘Big Beasts’ (Part I)

Part One – Two Big Surprises

It’s thought that Gordon Brown will have a January reshuffle in anticipation of a 2009 election. We could have a long debate about whether or not there will be an election in 2009 but, regardless, a potential election will be at the forefront of Brown’s (and Mandelson’s) mind when appointing the next batch of Ministers.

A lot has been written about a potential return to the Conservative Shadow Cabinet for one of their dwindling number of ‘big beasts’, Ken Clarke. But nothing has been written about any of the Liberal Democrats’ ‘Big Beasts’, probably because there is a false perception that we don’t have any.

I’m not going to be part of the inevitable whirl of speculation about who Brown will choose but I have a few suggestions for how the Liberal Democrats can make the most of this opportunity to bring back some of our own ‘big beasts’ to the front bench; as well as offering up some surprises for the media (something that can often be difficult with such a small pool of MPs to choose from).

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