Monday, January 19, 2009

Tory Reshuffle Open Thread

Later on this morning we're promised details of the Tory reshuffle. If I get any tipoffs I will post them on here throughout the morning, although so far everyone is remaining tightlipped.

In the meantime, do post your own thoughts on Ken Clarke's return and possible moves for others.

10.30 Rumours or radical changes in the ranks below Shadow Cabinet. BBC speculating Dominic Grieve may be replaced by Chris Grayling. Rumours of a promotion for Justine Greening.

10.35 Alan Duncan holds final BERR team meeting. Peter Ainsworth looks like for the chop - has cancelled engagements.

10.47 Eric Pickles replaces Caroline Spelman at CCHQ. She I
s to remain in the Shadow Cabinet on a "senior post".

11.00 Sources tell me Grayling to Home, Grieve to Justice, Herbert to Env, Spelman to Local Govt, May to DWP and probably Duncan Leader of the House.

12.17 Sources tell me Michael Fallon has turned down an invitation to join the Treasury team because he wishes to stay on the Treasury Select Committee.


Trend Shed said...

Ken Clarke's return is a good thing. The Conservatives would benefit from a range of opinions and experience.

Labour will try and draw the Conservatives into a damaging internal debate on the topic of Europe. The Conservatives must not fall into this trap.

Blaad said...

It's not only Labour (Mandelson) who will try to draw Clarke into dropping a Euro based clanger - I rather expect the press to concentrate 100% on the same.

There will be 'bear traps' galore.

strapworld said...

You would think, reading the first three comments, that Kenneth Clarke is a politician with little or no experience.

Clarke is a well tried and tested politician. He has been involved in many a battle and usually wins. He will turn any attack by Labour, on Europe, back on themselves. They are not a united party by any means- so Europe is as dangerous a debate for Labour as it is for the Tories.

If Clarke has agreed to tow the party line, then I, as one who want OUT of the EU, accept his agreement knowing that he is a man of honour.

Labour will be quite concerned about this.

Catosays said...

I keep recalling the old story of the scorpion crossing the river on the monkey's back.

Boo said...

Why are people so concerned that Ken has differing views on some matters?
While a party leader likes a party to be on message, is it good for a party to be stuffed with toadies with no voice of discent?
That the media expects this is just an indication of how bad the years have been under new labour.

Trend Shed said...


Good point - the press would love to bait Clarke on Europe and to fuel a internal war.

I imagine that the press and Labour are planning a few Barak Obama / Gordon Brown love-in stories. Maybe Ken Clarke can throw a spanner in the works by treating his business role as a 'global issue' and not get pigeon holed into European politics?

After would be amusing if Ken Clarke kept popping up as a question, whilst Gordon and the media are trying to stage a misty eyed wistful narrative to exploit the appeal of Obama.

Westminster Worker said...

Grieve getting the chop would look quite bad wouldn't it; he's only been in the job since June/July when DD quit.

Slightly impressed if Spelman has kept her job.

What next for Hunky Dunky Iain?

The Putney Villan said...

People are concerned because Clarke has a track record of reserving his right to speak out on Europe both as a cabinet Minister and leadership contender. He always said it would have been politically convenient for him to trim but he refused to do so. And this gave considerbale force to Tory civil war IMO

Having said all that I think the reason he is coming back is because he has made the cynical calculation that the Tories can / will actually win this time. He wouldn't trim or get involved pre 2009 because he believed this wouldn't happen.

Anonymous said...

As a Tory voter I find that the Eurosceptics would happily mutter their views sitting in opposition benches. Can still see what damage they inflicted on Major which let Blair in and Labour has signed on to everyrthing EU without a referendum.

All Tories should recognise that Brown has bankrupted the country, let in millions of immigrants, destroyed what is left of Britain.
It is time for change.
If the likes of Tebbit and Redwood want to sit at sideline and criticise Cameron and Clarke, then they will condemn the Tories for another 8 years of opposition. Tory voters like me will never forgive them.

JoeF said...

Clarke's main attributes are he actually comes accross like a real person (sorry most politicians don't) and, mainly right now, he brought on the longest economic boom in the last 100 years. He is ideally suited to oust the man who brought on the largest bust in 70 years.

Malcolm Redfellow said...

Now, here's a curious thing. Last week there was this guy blathering on Slugger O'Toole:

Grieve, for all of his merits, is lumbered with an appearance somewhere between Dracula, the impaler of cocktail olives, and a distant also-ran in a De Valera lookalike competition.

Then there was Grieve’s curious demotion at the Tory Party Conference. The Evening Standard reporter was so gripped by Grieve’s oration that he had time to count the 241 present in a hall of some 1,500 seats. It was also noticed that Grieve was denied the main Laura Norder speech: that went to the more-popular (and more-telegenic?) Nick Herbert. Grieve was allowed time only after the parade of Tory-susceptible Olympians, while the Tory faithful had debunked to the trough (what’s the lunch-time equivalent of the “graveyard” shift?). Compare that with the Home Affairs stars of yesteryear: the Widders or Dave Davis would have wet every seat in the house.

No, no, don't applaud! Oh, you're all too kind ... modesty forbids.

Moreover, there's more than one of us with Ken on the Euro-issue. We haven't gone away.

Westminster Worker said...

Surely Grayling has even less personality/gravitas than Grieve?

strapworld said...

Grayling will prove a dynamic Shadow Home Secretary compared to the suburban housewife presently occupying the substantive role!

Pleased to see Spellman removed as Chairman, lets face it she has done nothing! Pickles is the man.

Scorpian and Monkey tale- neither belonged to the same political party. I think that analogy is far more fitting to the Mandleson character and Brown!!

Paul Halsall said...

It's kind of off, BBC Manchester is reporting that Osborne has been demoted to energy spokesman, with Hague moved to shadow chancellor? Who gets to be Foreign spokesman?

Bad day for Eton, what ho!

Anonymous said...

Good Reshuffle, missing only DD, but that was to be expected really.

Paul Halsall, either your good self or the people at BBC Manchester are obviously on some mind altering substance!

Paul Halsall said...

As far as I know I am not on any mind altering substance, but BBC Radio Manchester made precisely that claim in their 12 noon bulletin.

Paul Halsall said...

I just listened now, and they did not repeat the claim!

graybo said...

Will this make the Tory shadow cabinet look more hungry and agressive? That's what they need more than anything.

I'm glad to see Ken back. Perhaps, as a price for his cooperation, DC will take a more moderate and temperate view towards the EU. I hope so.

Malcolm Redfellow said...

Paul Halsall (and the northern tundra of the Beeb) may be on to something.

The People's Ken has too much sense and honesty to commit himself to policies he cannot accept, defend and justify. That's why we have the public declaration of the Euro-armistice. Equally, I cannot see him twisting in the economic wind the way the Old Etonians have been. Nottingham HS and Caius breed 'em better.

So, expect a change: more humanity in the rhetoric, better enunciation, and -- above all -- more consistency. Opposition is tough; but it's also more than just being contrary.