Lib Dem shadow cabinet reshuffle – what's happened

by Stephen Tall on October 7, 2008

And the headlines are:

1. The Lisbon Treaty rebels are back in favour

Back in March, three Lib Dem front-benchers resigned in order to vote against the party whip and in favour of a referendum on Lisbon – but now:

> Alistair Carmichael (Orkney and Shetland) returns to the Northern Ireland and Scotland brief from which he resigned.
> Former countryside spokesman Tim Farron (Westmorland and Lonsdale) takes on the environment, food and rural affairs portfolio.
> And David Heath (Somerton & Frome) is appointed to lead a Commission on Privacy with a remit to examine the current state of privacy in the UK and how new technology can be used to protect rather than undermine the confidentiality of personal data.

2. New jobs for Webb and Teather, Thurso brought back

> Former environment spokesman Steve Webb (Northavon) takes on responsibility to shadow the new energy and climate change department.
> Sarah Teather (Brent East) moves from business, enterprise and regulatory reform to become housing spokeswoman for the party.
> Her old business portfolio goes to John Thurso (Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross).

Here’s Nick Clegg’s sound-bite:

The team I am announcing is a reflection of the vast talent in the Liberal Democrat party which will be able to hold the new cabinet to account. I look forward to working with them to take forward my agenda and show that the Liberal Democrats are the only party with practical plans to help people in their everyday lives.”

Hat-tip: Ananova.

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I hope that nice chap Thurso will obey collective responsibility on the Lib Dem nuclear power policies.

by Anon on October 7, 2008 at 12:50 pm. Reply #

Energy is no longer a DBERR responsibility.

by Tom on October 7, 2008 at 1:15 pm. Reply #

Very glad to see these three brought back into positions of responsibility. Hopefully all the messiness from earlier in the year can be put to bed.

by Paul Pettinger on October 7, 2008 at 1:44 pm. Reply #

Anon wrote:

“I hope that nice chap Thurso will obey collective responsibility on the Lib Dem nuclear power policies.”

It would be even nicer if the Party woke up and recognised that nuclear power is the only realistic way forward.

by Sesenco on October 7, 2008 at 1:56 pm. Reply #

Very pleased indeed to see that these people have been brought back in.

But what does Nick Clegg mean when he talks about “bringing forward MY agenda”? Does he not mean OUR agenda?

by John on October 7, 2008 at 2:07 pm. Reply #

Interesting point, John. An easy mistake for an individual to make in the excitement of a reconciliation, but a little worrying that none of the professionals supporting him thought it was a bit off message.

by David Evans on October 7, 2008 at 2:38 pm. Reply #

“It would be even nicer if the Party woke up and recognised that nuclear power is the only realistic way forward.”

Amen.

Is Thurso sceptical of our current nuclear policy, then?

by Andy Hinton on October 7, 2008 at 2:38 pm. Reply #

Is Sarah Teather’s star on the wane? I know as much as any how important a brief housing is, but it is a subsidiary of Communities, a portfolio she formerly held the senior job in did she not?

by Jock on October 7, 2008 at 3:49 pm. Reply #

I like that Steve Webb is following the meat of the environment portfolio; good contrast with Hilary Benn being left with the rump department.

by spz on October 7, 2008 at 4:05 pm. Reply #

Is that a demotion for Teather? She has not been seen much but then very fer Lib Dems (Cable excluded) have been able to get air time on the past few months.

by Kevin Davis on October 7, 2008 at 4:28 pm. Reply #

I count four coming in – Farron, Heath, Thurso, Carmichael

And only one out – Opik

Have I got that right?

by crewegwyn on October 7, 2008 at 6:11 pm. Reply #

Teather does have a mighty battle to win a new seat that only contains part of her current seat. I am sure she will continue to do good work in parliament but her number one target should be working with her team to gain the party a new seat.

by Chris on October 7, 2008 at 6:40 pm. Reply #

Crewegwyn – sadly that appears to be the case – do we actually have anyone left on the backbenches?

I’m sure it is a good use of our Parliamentarians time to be sitting in Westminster shadowing the junior minister for paper clips who is proposing some exacting changes to European stationery regulations.

I can’t think of a better way of winning votes…

by Dan on October 7, 2008 at 8:39 pm. Reply #

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