All change - Labour’s reshuffle was the more interesting

Meanwhile, the serious business was done in the Conservative part of the reshuffle, which saw the unspectacular advance of several women

Share
Related Topics

The reshuffle was a curious all-party affair. First came the Liberal Democrats, then the Conservatives, then Labour – each a distinct character.

The Liberal Democrats provided the only change at cabinet level: an undeserved sacking for Michael Moore, the quietly astute Scottish Secretary who has done more than anyone to give Alex Salmond enough rope with which to make a fool of himself. Nick Clegg also sacked Jeremy Browne from the Home Office, apparently for letting Theresa May send “Go Home” billboard vans around London. While it is not for he Independent to arbitrate on intra-coalition co-ordination, there can be no excuse for replacing Mr Browne with Norman Baker, a conspiracy theorist who thinks that David Kelly and Robin Cook were murdered.

The impression was unavoidable, therefore, that the serious business was done in the Conservative part of the reshuffle, which saw the unspectacular advance of several women and several supporters of the Chancellor – and, in many cases, female supporters of the Chancellor. Nicky Morgan, Esther McVey, Helen Grant and Jane Ellison will improve the balance and quality of the middle ranks and make the promotion of more women to the Cabinet next year more of a natural progression.

Interest, arguably, came from Labour. Ed Miliband sacked or demoted four shadow ministers regarded as Blairites, at least by those to their left. This was not quite the “declaration of war” of which some Blairite MPs (anonymously) complained. Stephen Twigg has failed to lead on education and Tristram Hunt, his replacement, is no Brownite (he voted for David Miliband). But the Labour leader took a risk in keeping Andy Burnham at health, and failed to make the kind of bold changes that might have persuaded undecided voters to look at Labour again.

In that sense, then, David Cameron emerged slightly ahead from yesterday’s inconclusive pre-election engagement.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Product Owner - Business Analyst

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Product Owner/Business Analyst is required t...

Recruitment Genius: Quality Technician

£28800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is going through a period o...

Recruitment Genius: Administrative Assistant / Order Fulfilment

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

Recruitment Genius: Java Developer

£26000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity for an ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Pressure is growing on Chris Grayling to abandon the Government bid to advise Saudi Arabia on running its prisons (Getty)  

What in sanity’s name is Chris Grayling doing in the job of Justice Secretary?

Matthew Norman
Health workers of the Red Cross and Medecins Sans Frontieres take part in training  

Are we starting to see the end of Ebola? Not quite, but we're well on our way

Tom Solomon
Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea