Miliband wins power to select Shadow Cabinet

Ed Miliband won the first round of his battle to modernise Labour's traditional practices last night when the party's MPs voted overwhelmingly to allow him to choose his own Shadow Cabinet.

At present, the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) elects the Shadow Cabinet every two years and the party leader then allocates the posts. Mr Miliband, who has described the elections as a distraction, wants to sharpen up the performance of his top team and ensure they spend less time lobbying for the votes of backbenchers.

Last night his proposed reform was approved by a margin of 196 votes to 41. The turnout among Labour MPs was 92 per cent.

Mr Miliband said: "This is an excellent result for the party. We have an important job to do in holding the Government to account and preparing for the next election. To do that job properly we need to spend our time talking to the public and not ourselves. Labour under my leadership will be a party that looks outwards and not inwards."

The move needs to be approved by Labour's National Executive Committee this month and its annual conference in September.

After that, Mr Miliband will be free to reshuffle his frontbench team whenever he wants. Although aides played down the prospect of a shake-up immediately after the conference, the Labour leader is expected to reshape his Shadow Cabinet to give fast-track promotions to the "new generation" of MPs he would want to see in his first cabinet if he wins power.

Speculation is building at Westminster about which members might be dropped or moved to a less prominent post. Those whose performances have been criticised by colleagues include Caroline Flint, the shadow Communities Secretary, John Healey, the shadow Health Secretary, and Maria Eagle, the shadow Transport Secretary.

One or more older hands might be recalled to frontline politics to provide some ballast. They could include Lord Falconer of Thoroton, the former lord chancellor, and David Blunkett, the former home secretary and work and pensions secretary.

Mr Miliband has said he would welcome a comeback by his brother David, the former foreign secretary, who stood down after Ed pipped him to the Labour leadership last year. But David is said to have no regrets about his decision to return to the back benches to limit the number of episodes in the Miliband family "soap opera".

The front-runners for the front bench

Gloria De Piero MP for Ashfield. Backed David Miliband in leadership contest. Appointed to Labour frontbench by Ed Miliband.

Tristram Hunt MP for Stoke Central. Former adviser to Lord Sainsbury, who nominated David Miliband for Labour leadership.

Rachel Reeves The first of the new wave of MPs to be marked out for great things after becoming MP for Leeds West last year.

Chuka Umunna Former employment lawyer who was on Ed Miliband's leadership team. Critic of Iraq war and New Labour.

Michael Dugher MP for Barnsley East. Backed Ed Balls for Labour leadership. Ed Miliband's parliamentary private secretary.

Lord Falconer Tony Blair's former Lord Chancellor. Backed David Miliband in last year's contest but urged the party to rally behind Ed.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Office / Sales Manager

£22000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established and expanding South...

Recruitment Genius: Administrative Assistant / Order Fulfilment

£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join a thrivi...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones