Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Ming's top team: a preliminary verdict

Ming Campbell has now completed the long-drawn out Lib Dem frontbench reshuffle and the full list can be viewed here.

I don't think there are any great surprises. We knew he would reward Clegg for not standing by giving him a more important position than Huhne, who did stand, and this has duly happened.

In my view Huhne should have got the Foreign Affairs spokesmanship but that would have irritated the Clegg camp and in any case Michael Moore appears to be joined at the hip to Ming.

Sarah Teather has been getting the headlines today for her promotion to Education spokeswoman, but I am not alone in wondering whether she really cuts the mustard.

In terms of the minor placings, interesting to see old Paddy Ashdown ally Nick Harvey back in the top team at Defence, and Lembit keeping his job as Wales and Northern Ireland spokesman despite making an arse of himself in the leadership campaign.

Out go Andrew George, Sandra Gidley and Tom Brake who are no great losses but I'm puzzled as to what poor old John Thurso has done wrong apart from wear a silly Lord Lucan-style moustache.

One potentially really significant appointment is that of Simon Hughes to the constitutional affairs brief.

Some of my colleagues in the Campaign for an English Parliament believe that Hughes is a secret supporter of their cause, so it will be very interesting to see if this now forms of part of Lib Dem policy development in this area.


Anonymous said...

Simon Hughes is an open supporter of an English Parliament.

Jonathan Sheppard said...

Simon Hughes might be but Lord Falconer isnt.