Thursday, December 08, 2005

Reshuffling the Deck

So the Shadow Cabinet is finalised. Very pleased in some respects, less so in others. I find the absence of Damian Green, Julie Kirkbride and Dominic Grieve disappointing to say the very least. But I'm pleased at some of the other appointments - I think Philip Hammond will do very well at Work & Pensions and Alan Duncan should consider himself very fortunate to have got DTI. I gather he is disappointed. Well, as a successful businessman he ought to be a round peg in a round hole so I hope he knuckles down and forgets any resentment at not getting education. I have a feeling that Chris Grayling will be ideal for transport where he will make the kind of impact that if Alan Duncan had shown any interest in the subject at all, should have done. Delighted to see Cheryl Gillan at the top table. However, it is a little odd to appoint a Scottish MP to Shadow the Scottish Office but not a Welsh MP (after all, there are three of them!) to do Wales. Theresa Villiers is a surprising appointment as Shadow Chief Secretary, but she is an economic expert and, I gather, close to George Osborne. She beat me for the Chipping Barnet selection so she must be good! Very glad to see Graham Brady stay with the European portfolio. I'm also very pleased to see my friend Nick Herbert join DD's Home Affairs team as Shadow Minister for Police Reform. I think he is a star in the making.

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