And finally... The IoS announces its Reshuffle Awards

After an eventful week on the political stage, John Rentoul sums up the highs and lows and hands out some deserved gongs


Most successful loyalist

Peter Mandelson, in effect emerging from the reshuffle as Deputy Prime Minister. Made up for 15 years of hurt by organising cabinet ministers to back Gordon Brown and disagree with James Purnell on Thursday night, andappearing everywhere to defend the PM on Friday.

Runner-up: Liam Byrne, mid-rank minister who went in front of the cameras to tell Labour MPs that they really do not want to have an early general election. Rewarded with promotion to the Cabinet as Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

Most unsuccessful loyalist

Shaun Woodward, who patronised countless media presenters after Purnell's resignation by telling them that car workers all over the country were raising their spanners in support of the Prime Minister. He hoped to become Home Secretary and was rewarded with... staying at Northern Ireland.

Most unconvincing loyalist

Shaun Woodward: "It is a huge privilege and honour to continue serving as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. I asked the Prime Minister to enable me to help complete this work and I am grateful to have been given the opportunity for a third year."

Sir Anthony Meyer award for pointless self-sacrifice

James Purnell, who looked behind him to find that he was on his own in no-man's land.

Most useless plot

The email telling Gordon Brown: "you can best serve the Labour Party and the country by stepping down as party leader and Prime Minister", which,it seems, attracted the name of not a single Labour MP.

Most counterproductive tactic

Nick Brown, the chief whip, naming several MPs as plotters who, although they want Gordon out, weren't actually plotting. Paul Farrelly, Labour MP for Newcastle-under-Lyme, accused No 10 of "feeding my name to the media as the ringleader of a coup".

Clare Short award for unconvincing late resignation

Caroline Flint, after recording an interview criticising James Purnell for resigning.

Most dangerous backbencher

Nick Raynsford, a former minister, for telling it like it is: "There is widespread unhappiness but it's not a basis for a rebellion."

Most unfair expenses victim

Ian Gibson, whose claim for a flat in which his daughter and her boyfriend also lived was not as reprehensible as others censured by Labour's kangaroo court. He resigned.

Fashion item of the week

Hazel Blears's Rocking the Boat brooch.

Also commended: James Purnell's sideburns; Andy Burnham's new glasses; Jacqui Smith's super-wide belt; Lord Mandelson's burgundy tie.

Luckiest accidental promotion

Bob Ainsworth, the new Secretary of State for Defence, plugging the gap left by his boss John Hutton's surprise departure.

Bunker mentality award

Sarah Brown, the Prime Minister's wife, who has Twittered all week on cake-baking, baby strawberries, ironing in the Cotswolds and Britain's Got Talent.

Most unfair expenses story

Sunday Telegraph front-page lead on Frank Cook's £5 church collection claim. Compare and contrast the reporting of David Cameron and Boris Johnson's £80,000 mortgage claims.

Most creative excuse for an expenses claim

Sir Gerald Kaufman's self-diagnosed obsessive compulsive disorder, that led him to claim for two Waterford grapefruit bowls for £220. "I have the same breakfast when I'm at home in London and Manchester every day. Half a grapefruit, a bowl of muesli with semi-skimmed milk and a cup of coffee with a Rich Tea biscuit."

John Major toothache award

Ed Miliband, Climate Change Secretary, whose baby was born on Tuesday night. Runner-up: Alan Milburn, who was in Doha, Qatar.

John Major award for prime ministerial bathos

Gordon Brown, who did not accept that the reshuffle was "shambolic". He said: "They often finish much later in the day."

Most futile attempt to influence the reshuffle

Andrew MacKinlay, Labour MP: "It is unacceptable for the Foreign Secretary not to be a member of the House of Commons."

Banquo award for not commenting

Tony Blair, at the London School of Economics, less than a mile from Westminster. "We're going to give time for questions and answers," he said. "On the environment and climate change."

Most ridiculous diversion of the week

Boris Johnson, who fell into a river during a clean-up photo-op to promote volunteering.

Title of the week

Rt Hon Lord Mandelson of Foy in the County of Herefordshire and Hartlepool in the County of Durham, First Secretary of State, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and Lord President of the Council.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Savvy Media Ltd: Media Sales executive - Crawley

£25k + commission + benefits: Savvy Media Ltd: Find a job you love and never h...

Austen Lloyd: Corporate Solicitor NQ+ Oxford

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: CORPORATE - Corporate Solicitor NQ+ An excelle...

Reach Volunteering: Financial Trustee and Company Secretary

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: A trustee (company d...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Project Manager

£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible