28 June 2007

Brown's Cabinet

The details have been announced:

Alistair Darling has been appointed Chancellor (cue righteous indignation from the press about the 'Scottish Raj'). His replacement at what was the DTI is John Hutton, though his title will be Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. His replacement at the DWP is Peter Hain, who also keeps Wales. The new Northern Ireland Secretary could be a controversial choice - Shaun Woodward, one-time Tory MP.

David Miliband is the Foreign Secretary - a big promotion, but takes him off the domestic stage so weakens any potential challenge. Hilary Benn replaces him at DEFRA, and Douglas Alexander is Benn's successor in International Development. Des Browne takes Alexander's Scotland role but stays at the MoD, which has already provoked Tory protests that 'our troops now have a part-time minister (their words). Ruth Kelly replaces Alexander at Transport, and she in turn is replaced by Hazel Blears.

Jack Straw becomes Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor - no surprise there. Harriet Harman replaces him as Leader of the Commons and also takes the Labour Party Chair post from Blears.

Former Chief Whip Jacqui Smith is the new Home Secretary - the biggest promotion, and the first time a woman has held the post. Geoff Hoon replaces her in the Whips' Office. Interestingly, we have no word on the Europe Minister, or if they will attend Cabinet, but the Minister for Africa, Asia and the UN will attend Cabinet, and the appointment will go to Mark Malloch-Brown, formerly Deputy Secretary General to the UN, who will take up a Life Peerage.

Alan Johnson is Health Secretary. Johnson was tipped as a potential rival to Brown and this reflects that: Brown has played the traditional Scottish Labour tactic of nobbling your biggest threat with the hardest job: Labour has lost its standing in Health according to recent polls, so Johnson has the toughest job. Johnson's old Education and Skills Department has been split into two. Ed Balls is the new Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families; John Denham takes up Innovation, Universities and Skills.

Ed Miliband - David Miliband's brother - takes over from Hilary Armstrong at the Cabinet Office. James Purnell takes over as Culture Secretary, but Tessa Jowell will still attend the Cabinet as Minister for the Olympics. Baroness Ashton takes over as Leader of the House of Lords, while Andy Burnham takes over as Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

Beverley Hughes will attend Cabinet as Minister for Children and Youth Justice, Baroness Scotland will attend as Attorney General, while Yvette Cooper will be at the table as Housing Minister.

1 comment:

Sainted George said...

Yes but who speaks for England?