Cabinet reshuffle – open thread

by Stephen Tall on June 5, 2009

It’s going to be a fast-paced day today, with English local election results due to be announced throughout the day, and a simultaneous cabinet reshuffle. On this open thread we’ll update you on the shape of the new cabinet, sans Purnell. What do you think of the new appointments? Is it enought to save Gordon Brown from the chop? Over to you…

Confirmed so far:

Chancellor: Alistair Darling stays
Foreign Secretary: David Miliband stays
Home Secretary: Alan Johnson handed the posioned chalice, takes over from Jacqui Smith
Justice Secretary: Jack Straw stays
Leader of the House of Commons: Harriet Harman stays
Health Secretary: Andy Burnham fills Alan Johnson’s old job
Work and Pensions: Yvette Cooper steps into James Purnell’s departed shoes
Business, Innovation and Skills Secretary: Lord (Peter) Mandelson stays in seemingly expanded department
Children, Schools and Families Secretary: Ed Balls stays put (bet he’s ecstatic at that)
Communities and Local Government Secretary: John Denham moves from Innovation, Universities and Skills to take over Hazel Blears’ hot-seat
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Hilary Benn stays
International Development Secretary: Douglas Alexander stays
Scottish Secretary: Jim Murphy stays
Welsh Secretary: the formerly sacked Peter Hain replaces Paul Murphy
Defence Secretary: Bob Ainsworth replaces John Hutton, who quits cabinet
Leader of the House of Lords: Baroness Royall stays
“Enterprise Czar”: Sir Alan Sugar moves into this new, fictitious and pointless role, outside the cabinet.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury: Liam Byrne brought in (no doubt those treasury mandarins are keenly anticipating the memo on his coffee preferences)
Energy & Cimate Change: Ed Miliband stays
Northern Ireland: Shaun Woodward stays
Housing Minister (attends Cabinet): John Healey replaces Margaret Beckett, who (at last) departs the cabinet
Transport Secretary: Lord Adonis (yes, another peer) replaces Geoff Hoon, who quits cabinet
Culture, Media & Sport Secretary: Ben Bradshaw replaces Andy Burnham, departed to Health
Europe Minister: Glenys Kinnock replaces Caroline Flint, who leaves government

The full list is available here.

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No comments

He is in real trouble, how can you relaunch and then face a hammering set of election results two days later? He is in real,real trouble.

by dominic hannigan on June 5, 2009 at 9:47 am. Reply #

Dominic: By accepting, as everyone else has, that the results will be awful. This way he will appear to be pushing on and making decisions with some insight rather than being reactionary as usual.

by Lee Griffin on June 5, 2009 at 9:58 am. Reply #

I think there is little doubt that Brown had wanted to move Darling. The fact he hasn’t been able to is a sign of his weakness.

by Bernard Salmon on June 5, 2009 at 10:21 am. Reply #

With the numer of ministers that are staying in place, this is hardly a Reshuffle, is it?

It’s more of a slight jiggle.

The last, fleeting twitches of a dead Government?


by Dungeekin on June 5, 2009 at 10:25 am. Reply #

How can you fail to support Darling at PMQs and then leave him in post? It’s preposterous. Brown has no clue and no conviction.

I gleefully await our new ex-postman leader.

by sanbikinoraion on June 5, 2009 at 10:28 am. Reply #

I think the snobbery I’ve seen from Lib Dems against Johnson because he was a postman is quite unjustified: he’s obviously a talented politician in the Labour mold or he wouldn’t have been boss of the postal union for years. I also think it will be very difficult to be a worse Home Sec than Jacqui, Charles, and John!

Maybe he was hoping to move someone who’s gone into it…

by Robson on June 5, 2009 at 10:33 am. Reply #

I see Brown has offered Alan Sugar the Tzarship Enterprise

by Painfully Liberal on June 5, 2009 at 10:41 am. Reply #

Still think GB could be out of a job come the summer holidays. But, assuming he stays, I’d personally have ditched Darling and taken the consequent sniping from the backbenches – I’d also have deliberately snubbed his resignation statement (and remember we’ve still to get Purnell’s.) Bring in some of the left wingers and really implement the policies we all know he wants to – so leaving the Tories to sort the lot out when he’s gone.

by KL on June 5, 2009 at 1:07 pm. Reply #

Robson – I have nothing against Alan Johnson at all (well, except that he’s Labour!); I was merely hinting at what I expect to happen.

by sanbikinoraion on June 5, 2009 at 4:21 pm. Reply #

Hmm, should we actually have all these Tsars in a democracy?

Also, Lord Mandelson seems to be lord of an awful lot – apparently his Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform is simply being merged with the Dept of Universities, Innovation and Skills. What a mammoth!

by Niklas Smith on June 5, 2009 at 7:01 pm. Reply #

There was a ringing endorsement of Peter Hain on Radio Wales “Called to Order” tonight – by Lembit. He’s doomed, I tell you.

by Frank H Little on June 5, 2009 at 8:42 pm. Reply #

@Niklas So it appears that universities are now subsumed entirely into the business agenda. From being part of the education ministry until quite recently, higher education is now overseen by the “Department for Business, Innovation and Skills”, whose remit is “to build Britain’s capabilities to compete in the global economy” (BBC News)

by Lonely Wonderer on June 5, 2009 at 10:07 pm. Reply #

Government support for science should be more than just about business, at a time of threats from climate change, infectious disease and discoveries of earth-like planets.

Government support for higher education should be more than just about business, at a time when we are seeing afresh the importance for our society of the development of ethical integrity, personal growth, creativity and critical engagement in democracy.

Government support for research in the humanities and social sciences should be more than just about business at a time when work purely dedicated to furthering the knowledge and capacities of humankind is being devalued by a narrow commodity agenda.

by Lonely Wonderer on June 5, 2009 at 10:23 pm. Reply #

“The last, fleeting twitches of a dead Government?”

More like the living death of John Major and his “successful” back-me-or-sack-me gambit. Just enough strength to fend off the internal enemies and survive the full parliamentary term. Nothing like enough strength to do anything useful with the time in office, or stand an earthly chance of winning again.

by David Allen on June 5, 2009 at 11:30 pm. Reply #

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