"Alan Duncan, the senior Conservative secretly filmed complaining that MPs were expected to live on "rations", has been demoted from the shadow cabinet. He goes from being shadow leader of the Commons to shadow prisons minister. Mr Duncan, who was responsible for the Tories' position on MPs' expenses, is said to accept he is now a "lightning conductor" for anger over the issue. The Rutland and Melton MP agreed to leave the shadow cabinet after a meeting with Tory leader David Cameron. A replacement is to be announced on Tuesday."I can't say it comes as a huge surprise, but knowing Alan, he will be gutted. He is a proud man. What I don't understand is why he has stayed in a junior position, important thought the prisons job is. Wouldn't it have been better to go completely and rebuild? And what does this mean for Edward Garnier, who has done a great job handling prisons over the last few years? He's an unsung hero of the junior spokesmen. UPDATE: He has been appointed Shadow Attorney General - long overdue IMHO.
A further question is whether this signals a wider Conservative frontbench reshuffle. Being 2,500 miles away means that I am not in a position to shed much light on that I'm afraid. I shall watch from afar with interest. But if there is to be one new face around the Shadow Cabinet table, who should it be?
One thing worth noting is that yet again David Cameron has displayed the same streak of ruthlessness we have seen before. Others should take note.
UPDATE: Alan Duncan has issued this statement...
"This is a sensible decision. You have to be realistic about how difficult the expenses issue has been.What matters most is the winning the election and David Cameron becoming the prime minister. I don't want to be a brake on that by making a difficult issue more problematic. I am very happy to get stuck into another job."