Next year, Gordon Brown will have to choose a new European Commissioner. His or her term starts in October 2009. Geoff Hoon and Margaret Beckett remain favourites for the job. However, no one seems to have commented on an unfortunate precedent Gordon Brown has created in recalling Peter Mandelson before his time is up.
If David Cameron wins the next election, say in mid 2010, he will be stuck with a European Commissioner from a rival party. Normally, convention would suggest that he would just leave matters be. However, now that Gordon Brown has set a precedent and replaced a Commissioner mid-term, he and his party could scarcely now complain in David Cameron did the same thing.
And for this reason, Hoon and Beckett may decide that they don't want the job, if it would last less than a year.