Sunday, March 05, 2006

The Ming Shuffle

The dilemma facing Ming Campbell this weekend is this: what on earth do I do with Chris Huhne? There must be a temptation to give him a minor job and this, I gather, is what some of Ming's allies are urging him to do. They still feel Huhne betrayed Ming by standing in the first place. But I suspect Ming will not be so merciless and give him a senior position. With the DTI and enviornment portfolios now free, it wouldn't surprise me if it were one of those, although he will be angling for Home Affairs, I suspect. Simon Hughes is easier, as he is Party President and presumably will not be given a further portfolio to handle.

Deputy Leader: Susan Kramer
Chancellor: Vincent Cable
Home Affairs: Ed Davey
Foreign Affairs: Nick Clegg
DTI: Michael Moore
Defence: John Thurso
Environment: Chris Huhne
Local Government: Sarah Teather
Transport: Andrew George
Culture, Media & Sport: David Heath
International Development: Lynn Featherstone
Leader of the Commons: Don Foster
Work & Pensions: David Laws
Chief Secretary: Jeremy Browne
Wales & Northern Ireland: Lembit Opik
Scotland: Danny Alexander
Health: Steve Webb
Chief Whip: Andrew Stunnell
Women & Older People: Sandra Gidley

And I'm quite happy to accept I'll probably be wrong on every single one!

11 comments:

Antony said...

I like the list Iain, but that means not a lot of change really from the team that toppled Kennedy?

The Grim Reaper said...

Don't forget the Deputy Leader is elected by Liberal Democrat MPs and would become acting leader if Campbell's health took a turn for the worse. The likes of Clegg and Huhne would be fools not to contest the post.

Also, Teather is being heavily tipped for promotion after being one of Campbell's biggest supporters, although after her stunning impression of a rabbit in the headlights on Question Time, she may be better off where she is.

Mike Ion said...

Are you suggesting that the Lib Dems are not interested in Education or is it that you cannot think of enough Lib Dem MPs? Perhaps Ming will give it to Huhne!

Iain Dale said...

antony, well they only have 63 MPs and if you look down thelist of the others, there aren't exactly a lot more to choose from!
grimreaper, good point. I hadn't remembered thst. I cannot see what people see in Sarah Teather.
Mike, I knew I'd miss one. By the way, I have added a link to your blog.

Curtis Hunter said...

Iain - Kramer was a Huhne supporter (in fact was one of those pushing him to run against Ming). I understand ing and her do not see eye to eye on much. The Lib Dems do need a high profile woman on the front bench and Sarah T is not going to cut it long term (though we have all under-estimated her so far). I wld have either Kramer or Clegg at Home Office.

wonkotsane said...

Vince Cable is a bigot and has no place in politics.

Cllr David Morton said...

The blogosphere does seem to be pushing Kramer for Deputy. Shes come on a lot since her mayoral bid and i would like to see her do it. However the young turks won't let her. givens mings age/health shed succeed as acting leader if he fell under a bus and could then run as a sort of semi incumbent. given that huhne has already stolen a march on them i can't see clegg/davey/laws allowing someone else get a rung up. as the majority of the parliamentry party backed ming i assume he has serious influence over who becomme deputy even though it is an elected position.

Anonymous said...

Having read your blog, Wonkotsane, I find it a little surprising that you are so keen to describe other people as bigots.

Paul Linford said...

I'm inclined to think that there will not be an election for Deputy Leader - in view of Ming's age it would look like a proxy leadership election and I don't think they will want to go through another one of those.

This leads me to suppose that neither Clegg nor Huhne will get the job, because if either of them stood it would bring the other into the race.

I'm tempted to think a third candidate will be chosen who neither represents a current threat to Ming nor a long-term threat to Clegg or Huhne, in the same way Margaret Beckett was chosen ahead of Blair and Brown in 1992.

If you look at it this way someone like Susan Kramer - able, popular, but not a future leadership contender - becomes quite a sensible choice.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure we're all dying to know why Vince Cable is a bigot, I suspect he didn't support a planning application you made 5 years ago, or respond favourably to a daft secterian missive. Grow up.

Anonymous said...

Not too bad so far, Iain - Moore's got Foreign Affairs (unsurprising as he was Ming's deputy in the last parliament), but you were right about Clegg to Home Affairs and Huhne to Environment, but it's Goldsworthy, not Browne who gets to be Treasury number 2.

And to add to Paul's comments above, there's also a push to have a female deputy leader, which suggests either Kramer or Gidley.