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A recap on which shadow cabinet members got name-checked by David Cameron in his conference speech

Picture 6 In his live blog of David Cameron's speech on Thursday afternoon, Tim highlighted what appeared to be a guarantee that Liam Fox would be Defence Secretary if he forms a government next year.

In total, ten of the Shadow Cabinet were given a name-check by the party leader - plus of course there was the pledge that Iain Duncan Smith would be "responsible in government for bringing together all our work to help mend the broken society".

We can doubtless read too much into all of this, but there is an argument at this stage to say that the party leader name-checking you in his conference speech is a signal that you can expect to get the job you are currently shadowing for real in the event of a Tory victory.

There are of course certain behind-the-scenes roles (like Chief Whip) which would per se be less likely to get a mention in a conference speech, plus there are some seconds-in-command (like the Shadow Chief Secretary) whose boss alone got the namecheck for their portfolio.

Anyhow, for what it's worth, below are those who got a mention in the speech:

  • "Instead of a revolving door at the Ministry of Defence with a second rate substitute in charge, we need a politician from the front rank, and in Liam Fox we have one."
  • "This year, here in Manchester, our most successful, dynamic conference for twenty years. I’d like to thank everyone involved, the police who kept us safe and your chum and mine, Eric Pickles."
  • "We’ve won the argument on the economy and debt as George Osborne showed in that magnificent speech on Tuesday."
  • "Ken Clarke and David Willetts this week helped launch our plan to Get Britain Working. It is a plan to boost science, skills, self-employment a plan to improve training, technology, tax incentives for entrepreneurs."
  • "The welfare system today sends out completely crazy signals. We have got to turn it around and with Theresa May and David Freud in charge we will."
  • "With Andrew Lansley’s reform plans, we’re going to give the NHS back to people."
  • "A Conservative Government, with Chris Grayling, with Dominic Grieve, will reform the police, reform the courts, reform prisons."
  • "Big government has totally failed in state education and with Michael Gove we will get the radical change we need."
  • "If we win the election, we will have as the strongest voice for our country’s interests, the man who is leading our campaign for a referendum, the man who will be our new British Foreign Secretary: William Hague."
And here are those who did not get a name-check:
  • Greg Clark
  • Mark Francois
  • Cheryl Gillan
  • Philip Hammond
  • Nick Herbert
  • Jeremy Hunt
  • Oliver Letwin
  • Francis Maude
  • Patrick McLoughlin
  • Andrew Mitchell
  • David Mundell
  • Baroness Neville-Jones
  • Owen Paterson
  • Grant Shapps
  • Caroline Spelman
  • Lord Strathclyde
  • Theresa Villiers
  • Baroness Warsi
  • Sir George Young

Jonathan Isaby

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