Thursday, January 24, 2008

Hain quits - but what happens next?

Well, I said it was only a matter of time.

The interesting thing now is to see how Gordon responds to this, his first, enforced reshuffle. Will he do the boring, obvious thing and promote Andy Burnham to Work and Pensions Secretary and bring in a trustie like John Healey as Chief Secretary to the Treasury? Or will he do the imaginative thing and bring back a heavyweight like Alan Milburn or David Blunkett to run the DWP? And will he finally scrap the territorial departments as Dizzy and myself both speculated last weekend?

Fundamentally, is Brown seeing the departure of Hain as an opportunity, as Blair would have done, or a threat, as Major would have done? The answers could tell us a lot about the kind of Prime Minister he will ultimately turn out to be.

5pm update: So far, it's looking fairly obvious and predictable - Purnell to DWP, Burnham to DCMS, Yvette Cooper to the Treasury, Caroline Flint to Housing Minister. Still no word on Wales though.

6pm update: It's Paul Murphy for Wales and no restructuring of the territorial departments. This is the very boring, as well as the very shortsighted option. More later.

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Anonymous said...

Hain is hero and has been destroyed by the right wing nutcase tories. Who will they try to destory next superman, 007. It just shows life is tough and sometimes the bad guys do win,

Barnacle Bill said...

I think by the fact Brown did not have a replacement ready as TB would have done when Hain resigned speaks volumes.