Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Cabinet Starts to Take Shape

No big surprises yet in Gordon Brown's Cabinet appointments, but a huge number of women seem to be leaving the Cabinet. Expect most of the new entrants to be female.

UPDATE: Ruth Kelly has gone to Transport. The nation's train passengers will be sleeping more easily tonight. What a crass appointment.

UPDATE: 11.53 Sky reporting that ED Balls may be at DTI, not Schools as previously reported

UPDATE: 12.04 John Hutton confirmed at DTI

UPDATE: 12.09 Baroness Ashton new Leader of the House of Lords. Never heard of her.

UPDATE: 12.18 Jack Straw confirmed as Justice Secretary

UPDATE 12.19 Adam Boulton speculating that Tessa Jowell will be Olympics Minister. I suspect this will be outside the Cabinet.

UPDATE 13.05 No promotion for Yvette Cooper. Andy Burnham to be Chief Secretary. Ed Miliband to join Cabinet at Cabinet Office. Geoff Hoon to be Chief Whip.

UPDATE: 13.12 Bloody hell. Shaun Woodward in the Cabinet! Who'd have thought it.

Prime Minister: Gordon Brown
Deputy Prime Minister: None
Chancellor: Alistair Darling
Home Secretary: Jacqui Smith
Foreign Secretary: David Miliband
Education: Ed Balls
Higher Education: John Denham
Health: Alan Johnson
Transport: Ruth Kelly
Trade & Industry: John Hutton
Attorney General: Baroness Scotland
Communities & Local Government: Hazel Blears
Chairman of the Labour Party: Harriet Harman
Chief Whip: Geoff Hoon
Environment: Hilary Benn
Justice: Jack Straw
Work & Pensions & Wales: Peter Hain
Leader of the House of Commons: Harriet Harman
DCMS: James Purnell
Northern Ireland: Shaun Woodward
Leader of the Lords: Baroness Ashton
International Development: Douglas Alexander
Defence: Des Browne
Chief Secretary to the Treasury: Andy Burnham
Social Exclusion & Cabinet Office: Ed Miliband


Old BE said...

I thought Harriet Harman was already announced as Party Chairperson?

Anonymous said...

11.36am - John Hutton expected to replace Alistair Darling as Industry Secretary

11.32am - Pensions Minister James Purnell is confirmed as promoted to Cabinet as Culture Secretary.

11.17am - James Purnell looks set to replace Tessa Jowell as Culture Secretary.

11.15am - Amid the reshuffle news, the by-elections in Sedgefield and Ealing Southall will take place on Thursday 19 July.

11.12am - The rumour mill continues with Des Browne expected to stay at Defence, Jacqui Smith now favourite at the Home Office and may be replaced by Geoff Hoon as Chief Whip. DFID looks set to take responsibilities for trade from DTI.

10.51am - Peter Hain is appointed Work and Pensions Secretary.

10.48am - Alan Johnson is confirmed as the new Health Secretary.

10.44am - ...and James Purnell might be the other Education Cabinet Minister.

10.26am - The BBC report rumours that Harriet Harman will become Commons Leader, Alan Johnson is taking over at Health, John Denham or Jacqui Smith are both in the frame for the Home Office, that Hillary Benn is moving to Defra and Ed Balls will be one of the two Cabinet Ministers responsible for Education.

10.14am - Alistair Darling and David Miliband are confirmed as Chancellor and Foreign Secretary respectively.

10.07am - The BBC report that David Miliband has been appointed Foreign Secretary and Alistair Darling is the new Chancellor.

Thursday 9.12am - The BBC report that Douglas Alexander becomes International Development Secretary, alongside his role as General Election Co-ordinator.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm.. Buff-Hoon tipped to be Chief Whip - one of the few people who could feasibly do a worse job than the previous incumbent..

Anonymous said...

Ruth Kelly at Transport !

Why not our little chipmunk ?

Anonymous said...

Jacqui Smith, who can't count MPs, is going to be put in charge of the Home Office, who have responsibility for counting, er, immigrants, prisnoners and foreign criminals...

Yeah, right...

Anonymous said...

Hazel Blears is getting Prezza/Ruth Kelly's old job !!

Anonymous said...

It strikes me that it may be better to lose a labour deputy leadership campaign than it is to win it.

Anonymous said...

Not exactly thrilling is it?

Anonymous said...

Jowell to spend more time with her (ex)husband? Ah, that Italian sun.

S said...

I'm a little disappointed that the people exiting the cabinet don't have to do the 'walk of shame' like Blair made them do when he was PM. This behind closed doors in parliament by Brown is much less fun.

Anonymous said...


you've missed John Hutton confirmed at DTI.

Unity said...

Some of the Sky stuff is a bit all over the place.

It looks as though the DTI is to be split with Trade going to an expanded DfID and a new Business and Enterprise ministry for which Hutton has been thought to be in the frame all morning.

Anonymous said...

So where's the news on this Tory defector ? Didn't someone tell us to wait for 11 am ?

Anonymous said...

Sorry to be thick, but what is all this 'Alan Sugar' stuff ?

I've not seen his name against any posts, advisory or otherwise ?

Have I missed something..

Anonymous said...

Calm down dear, it's only a re-shuffle...

Scipio said...

Iain, what you really mean is as follows, surely?:

Prime Minister: Gordon Brown
Deputy Prime Minister:Gordon Brown
Chancellor: Gordon Brown
Home Secretary: Gordon Brown
Foreign Secretary: Gordon Brown
Education: Gordon Brown
Higher Education:Gordon Brown
Health: Gordon Brown
Transport: Gordon Brown
Trade & Industry:Gordon Brown
Attorney General:Gordon Brown
Communities & Local Government: Gordon Brown
Chairman of the Labour Party: Gordon Brown
Chief Whip:Gordon Brown
Environment: Gordon Brown
Justice: Gordon Brown
Work & Pensions: Gordon Brown
Leader of the House of Commons: Gordon Brown
DCMS: Gordon Brown
Northern Ireland: who cares
Leader of the Lords:Gordon Brown
International Development: Gordon Brown
Defence: Gordon Brown
Chief Secretary to the Treasury:Gordon Brown
Social Exclusion & Cabinet Office: Gordon Brown

Other's might carry the red boxes, but Gordon has the red pencil!

Clunk, clunk, clunk!

SPAM ALERT said...

One day they will surely find a job that even Ruth Kelly is incapable of screwing up. Don't they have tea and biscuits in cabinet meetings?

Anonymous said...

Same old faces, same old losers and incompetents

Nothing new or inspiring from boring Gordon.

The only vaguely interesting thing is his continued peddling of the line (in spite of reports to the contrary) that he had nothing whatsover to do with anything that has happened over the last ten years and that it was all Tonys fault. Give us a break - we're not that stupid!

He's the like the little creep that everyone hated at school - the one who always ended up having his head flushed down the bog.

I have a feeling Brown is going to be wiping a lot of egg off his face very soon...

Anonymous said...

The Leader of the House of Commons is a Baroness?

And blogs are more accurate than the printed press?

Iain Dale said...

Oops. Corrected!

Anonymous said...

Channel 4 News quoting Associated Press say that Blair questioned again to-day re Cash for Honours (Not confirmed)

Anonymous said...

Baroness Ashton is Cathy Ashton and I believe is married to Peter Kellner

Anonymous said...

What a total disaster of a "reshuffle".

Absolutely pathetic.

Brown is on his way out already.

Not long to go now!!

Anonymous said...

Baroness Ashton is a veteran quangovernor for the last 40 years. In 2006 she was nominated at Stonewall Politician of the Year, and you haven't heard of her!

Peter Hain actually still has a job and so has Ruth Kelly - a Government of all the Talents?

Time for a Change.


Anonymous said...

Ruth Kelly STILL in the government? Easy for Gordon to bully I suppose; same goes for Blears. But J Smith in the Home Office... that really does give me serious pause for thought; time to start packing?

Vienna Woods said...

Just been looking at the Sky News site to see what the new Foreign Sec (David Miliband) looks like! This guy is a ringer for Mr Bean, and is probably about as useful! Nobody's going to take him seriously!

Madasafish said...

spin spin and then down to earth with a bump.

Ruth Kelly to last 18 months before the next major fiasco- she is good at those.

Anonymous said...

12.55 - Hilary Benn confirmed as the new Environment Secretary.

12.52pm - No official word on the machinery of Government changes but Ed Balls looks certain to take on the Schools and Children portfolio in Cabinet.

12.44pm - Baroness Ashton becomes Leader of the House of Lords, replacing Baroness Amos.

12.37pm - Yvette Coooper said to be the new Cabinet Minister for Housing and Ed Miliband is expected to be Cabinet Office Minister in the Cabinet.

12.33pm - Harriet Harman confirmed as Leader of the House of Commons.

12.32pm - Des Browne continues as Defence Secretary and takes on responsibility for Scotland.

12.26pm - Baroness Scotland is confirmed as the new Attorney General.

12.15pm - David Miliband arrives at the Foreign Office pledging diplomacy that "listens as well as leads".

11.49am - Hazel Blears takes on the role of Communities Secretary as Ruth Kelly becomes Transport Secretary.

11.45am - Chief Whip Jacqui Smith becomes Home Secretary.

11.43am - Speaking in the Commons, Jack Straw does not deny suggestions that Harriet Harman will replace him as Leader of the House.

11.36am - John Hutton expected to replace Alistair Darling as Industry Secretary. The department is likely to be renamed Business and Enterprise, with Trade responsibilities off to the Department for International Development

11.32am - Pensions Minister James Purnell is confirmed as promoted to Cabinet as Culture Secretary.

Anonymous said...

Now can we open a book and bet how many weeks it will take for the public to loathe these miscreants ?

Miliband will be flattened by Steinmeier who is very p@ssed off that Germany was not consulted about Blair's new role despite being EU President as a Member of the Quartet

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Who is Jacqui Smith?

Anonymous said...

The Jacqui Smith appointment is astonishing. In a post requiring the highest level of management skills, the Scotsman puts a woman with absolutely no experience whatsoever. A truly bonkers, deeply dangerous appointment.

Anonymous said...

What's happened to the person in the Lords who used to sit at the front? He became Constitutional Affairs minister and then Justice minister but now that's gone to the Commons. I thought they had to have someone sitting at the front.

Anonymous said...

Des Browne - Defence AND Scotland.

Are they planning a military takeover up north?

Anonymous said...

Baroness Ashton from DCA website. I had never heard of her and live in same County!

Cathy Ashton was appointed as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Constitutional Affairs on 9 September 2004.

Cathy was born in Upholland in Lancashire, from where she takes her title 'Baroness Ashton of Upholland'.

From 1983-89 she was Director of Business in the Community working with business to tackle inequality, and established the Employers’ Forum on Disability, Opportunity Now, and the Windsor Fellowship.

Cathy chaired the Health Authority in Hertfordshire from 1998 to 2001, and her children’s school governing body, and became a Vice President of the National Council for One Parent Families.

In 1999 she was given a life peerage. She became an Education Minister in 2001. In 2005 she was voted House Magazine Minister of the Year and Channel 4 Peer of the Year. In 2006, she was voted Stonewall Politician of the Year. She became a Privy Councillor in May 2006.

Cathy has 3 stepchildren and 2 children.

Economics at London University.

Anonymous said...

Des Browne - Defence AND Scotland.
Are they planning a military takeover up north?

Interesting conflict with Scottish regiments

Anonymous said...

It all looks hideously white!

Anonymous said...

It all looks hideously white!

Apart from Peter Hain of course.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Baroness Scotland is seriously bad news. All she has ever done in the Lords is read out the brief her civil servants have written for her. And this at a time when we desperately need an strong, independently minded, Attorney-General.

Anonymous said...

Hewitt speak:

"The NHS has just had its best year ever."

"I have resigned for personal reasons."

The Remittance Man said...

Anon @ 1:00pm

Are you serious? In the middle of two bloody wars Gordo makes the SecDef responsible for Scotland too?

I know Des Browne's hardly the most dynamic of Defence Ministers but even so!

If this is true, then that tiny cloud of dust you can see disappearing over the horizon is the last shred of credibility Gordon Brown possessed leaving for sunnier climes.

Anonymous said...
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Paul Linford said...

Anyone know what happened to poor old Stephen Timms? What he did he do to get fired?

Anonymous said...

"and that loathsome turd Millicreep - he ain't English"

Born in London, school in Leeds, went to Oxford, worked in London, represented an English constituency.

How isn't he English? Oh, wait, his grandfather was Jewish, is that what you're getting at?

Even if he wasn't English, in what way would that matter?

Anonymous said...

As an englishman I'm not proud to have to share my nationality for the time-being with scum like you - for your information being British means sod all in terms of who or what you are, mostly in your case, the opposite of what we are.

Anonymous said...

Reappointing Peter Hain as Welsh Secretary makes me wonder who doe Gordon Brown hate the most, Peter Hain or the Welsh?

Anonymous said...

Browns cabinet. Men, women, young and old. Experience, along with a few new faces. Baronesses, Lords and Ladies; and a Tory defector. Good balanced cabinet. While David Cameron’s shadow cabinet are mainly white middle aged guffawing toffs reminiscent of Harry Enfield’s “Tim Nice But Dim”

Anonymous said...
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David Lindsay said...

Congratulations to my Right Honourable Kinsman, Alistair Darling, on becoming Chancellor of the Exchequer. And I have, of course, laughed out loud at the appointment of Silly Milly as Foreign Secretary, while only just stiffling a tear at the removal of that office's most Eurosceptical occupant since Bevin. Rumour has it that Milly was unhappy about the Iraq War and the bombardment of Lebanon. Well, if the first of these, in particular, is true, then he should have resigned, and deserves nothing but scorn and contempt for his failure to do so.

As for the rest, Brown has failed his own first test, producing, where a coalition was loudly promised, nothing more than an unfinalised offer to Shirley Williams of a mere advisory position. New Labour and Old Labour alike should be making plans to get rid of him as soon as possible. Are they? And if not, why not?

Meanwhile, the reunion of the Spice Girls has coincided with the departure from Cabinet of Margaret Beckett, Patricia Hewitt, Tessa Jowell, Valerie Amos and Hilary Armstrong. I suggest that they now take a leaf out of the Spice Girls' book, record an album or two, make a film or two, and take to the road on tour.

So, of these five, which should be designated Posh, which Ginger, which Baby, which Sporty, and which Scary? And why?

Anonymous said...

Surely the lesson of this 'shuffle' is in an old proverb by Confucius..

"If thou toucheth up a member of the opposite sex whilst in thine office, then thy career shall be fucked.."

Anonymous said...

As the BBC cleverly picked up, the new cabinet walking to no10 looked like they might have been stage managed. Gordons government is going to "change" and get away from spin...sure...this felt like the Oscars red carpet.

Anonymous said...

Justice Ministry website sttes that Jack Straw will be First Secretary of State in addition to SoS Justice and Lord Chancellor. This was the DPM title used in the 1960s Wilson government and held by three others who were named DPM (Rab Butler, Hestletine and Prescott). So Jack Straw IS Deputy PM without the ODPM costing the taxpayer needless cash.
Historic footnote:
Incidentally, he isn't the first non-Lord to hold the office someone did in the eighteenth or early nineteenth century before shooting themselves (may be wrong on that - vague memory) and the English Lord Chancellor (before the role was abolished along with Scots one and replaced by GB Lord Chancellor) was often not a lord under the Tudors, Sir Thos More famously, but also a couple under Elizabeth.