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Jacqui Smith and not John Denham. Interesting. She doesn't have a big majority.

I can't quite understand why Denham has not progressed further in his career.Along with Frank Field and Kate Hoey he is one of the more principled Labour MPs.
Does anyone know much about Jacqui Smith? She hasn't been chief whip long enough really to make her mark and I am not aware of anything she did previously.It's certainly a big promotion for her,hopefully she won't prove to be as hopelessly out of her depth as Beckett was at the FO.

Why is Kelly getting another big job? She now gets responsibility to deliver the infrastructure to support the massive housing plans she oversaw at DCLG. I can see another mess

Hilary Benn to DEFRA....

to be confirmed very soon.

Malcolm, I admire John Denham. IIRC he resigned from Blairs government over Iraq and maybe he has refused to come back into the fold until that situation changes?

Brown needed a woman in one of the top three jobs malcolm. If John Denham had been Joanna Denham he'd have got the post!

Yes! Us Worcestershire folk can have a go at unseating the Home Secretary! I suppose that's assuming she lasts longer than the previous holders of the post.
Redditch will certainly be one to watch on election night!

Quite; Jacqui Smith will be a big decapitation target in Redditch next time round. Perhaps that's why she's in the job though, so that the Government takes electorally sensible decisions in Home Affairs?

You're probably both right Scotty and bluepatriot. It's not exactly radical at the moment is it? But then Brown does not have much talent to play with. He's stiffed Johnson ( a potential rival) with health but I most interested to see who will get Defence. Please ,please Gordon if you read this (highly likely!) don't keep Browne there or give it to your unbelievably useless namesake and friend Brown (Nick)!

so who are we betting Cameron will move to match them?
I don't think Kelly will be too awful; rumour has it that Cooper was responsible for the housing mess...although she'll probably get something big too.

I understand there'll probably be a Tory reshuffle on Monday/ Tuesday, bella.

Guido reporting that Shirly Williams is not going into government.

Well this a joke. Browne stays at Defence and also takes ministerial responsibility for Scotland therefore relegating Defence to a less than full time role. Unbelievable!

Love the way the BBC is reporting this.. OK, I hate it.

"New faces in huge Cabinet revamp"

What utter b*ll*cks.

Headline should be; "Brown reshuffles and promotes Labour ministers in modest reshuffle"

But that would be too honest, wouldn't it?

Exactly the same faces playing musical chairs - almost all of them were in the cabinet, or high-profile ministers, before.

BBC spinning for Labour as usual.

God, I despise that lot.

Malcolm, like you I am gobsmacked especially on the day it is announced we have lost 3 more soldiers. With the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan, well words fail me!!!!!

This appointment is all about the politics of keeping Brownite allies in post while trying to balance the Scottishness of the cabinet. What a crass decision.

Blair has been questioned by the police for a third time. Iain Dale has more.

Defence and Scotland in one job?

Are Brown and Browne planning a Civil War we don't yet know about?

So far so underwhelming

If this the new-heard-the-need-for-change-surprise-packed-government-of-all-the-talents then pass the double expresso and keep it coming, I am going to need it.

Blair questioned for 3rd time by Yates :)

So we have Defence and Int Dev being downgraded as Brown feels ministers (who have both been proven to be incompetent)can job share. A woman with no Home Affairs experience (or indeed head of Government department experience) promoted to one of the toughest jobs in Government. Kelly who's messed up at 2 departments gets the wreckage which is Transport policy. Balls who should feel at home with other child like debaters at Education and Buffoon as chief whip.

And this is all the talents!!!

Ruth Kelly for Transport, after her floundering ineptitude in her previous roles?Good. Now's the time to give her merry hell over the hospital pass of road pricing, knowing that this was very much Douglas Alexander's baby and he's moved on.

David Davis said he wanted to continue covering the whole Home Affairs brief and these appointments are unlikely to change his mind. He will feel confident he can face down both Straw and Smith without breaking too much sweat. It helps, of course, that he can call them both Jack.
And if he needs help, I'd suggest bringing back Patrick Mercer as his deputy to reprise the Homeland Security aspects.

Anyone else find Kay Burley extremely rude when she interviewed Liam Fox?

Only one cabinet minister represents a London seat and there is one from Wales,but none from SE, SW or East Anglia. Loads from Scotland and Greater Manchester.
I think we can guess where the money is going for the next few years!

The Defence and Scotland together may be more canny than we give him credit for. Defence is one of the key competences that binds Scotland into the Union. It is a source of pride and unity. Double-hatting Browne like that may create a minister who is very able when it comes to promoting the future of the Union.

Brown had a long chat with Her Majesty - who knows, perhaps she had a word in his ear about assuring the future of the Union...

Who has got Wales? Is it still lumped in with Northern Ireland?

Mike Turvey, I think Brown has been quite transparent in the way he has tried to give his Scottish pals jobs which would be seen to cover the whole of the UK. But we need a full time and committed minister for Defence, and as Liam Fox pointed out it will send a very worrying message to the armed forces at a time when they are overstretched and under incredible strain.

Mike, I don't think Brown will be able to spin his way out of it with that excuse. Splitting the duties is bad enough, but to keep an imcompetent minister in place because he's part of your clique is unforgivable.

Have they got a Deputy PM? Unless I missed it, it is noticeable that despite being Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Harriet Harman has not been identified in this role. Or has this tempting morsel been offered elsewhere?

Excellent stuff from CCHQ, we need to press home that this is the same bunch of failures who have been running things for the last 10 years, just without the charismatic front man.

Does anyone know much about Jacqui Smith? She hasn't been chief whip long enough really to make her mark ....It's certainly a big promotion for her

She's hard as nails I'm told, by someone who has fallen foul of her. You don't succeed as Chief Whip (as she apparently has) without being tough.

Also, yes it's a big promotion, but not unprecedented - for those of us old enough to remember Maggie's last Home Secretary, David Waddington - she appointed him HS straight from Chief Whip.

Surely a mistake to combine Defence with Scotland. Brown obviously gives defence a low priority. Ammunition for Cameron?

GT, fair enough but where do most Labour MPs represent? Err.. Scotland, Greater Manchester and the north of England.

How many MPs are there from Scotland, Wales, Greater Manchester or even North England in our Shadow Cabinet? 44% of David Cameron's Shadow Cabinet represent seats in the South East (outside London) but the Sout East has only 16% of the UK's population. It's the nature of our political system where support for different parties varies according to geography.

Beverley Hughes in now!! Cameron should be able to rip this to pieces at PMQ's next week.

Nice bit of rapid rebuttal from CCHQ. What a threadbare list of retreads.

Is that it? Without wishing to make a party political point (as if!) it's hardly a 'government of all the talents' is it?
Presumably if we really do have a second defector this person will be going for a fairly uninfluential job either in government or in a quango.

Hmmm, nothing in the rapid rebuttal about Hilary Benn, John Denham or Shaun Woodward?

Does this mean we have nothing bad to say about them?

Lavendula - maybe it's a sign we need to be defended from Scotland.

Does anyone know much about Jacqui Smith?

She's a teacher so if she visits Jack Straw's Department she can probably visit former pupils continuing their education in H M Prisons.....mind you having Jack Straw back in charge of prisons with judges to boot means we are in for real politicisation of everything.......no doubt we are entering the End Days of the Realm as Straw brings the whole structure crashing down

Lord Malloch Brown joins the FCO as a junior minister for the small matters of Africa, Asia and the United Nations.

He also lived in a house owned by George Soros..........In 1983, Malloch Brown contemplated running as an SDP candidate in the 1983 UK General election.......In 1986 Malloch Brown joined the Sawyer-Miller Group as the lead international partner. While at Sawyer-Miller he was amongst the first communication consultants to use US-style election campaign methods for foreign governments, companies, and public policy debates.

Quantum Fund announced the appointment of Mr. Malloch Brown as the hedge fund's vice president.


George Soros and Mark Malloch Brown deserve congratulations for finally sealing their now famous friendship.

In a letter to shareholders of Mr. Soros's Quantum Fund last week, the globe-trotting financier and the former international civil servant announced the appointment of Mr. Malloch Brown as the hedge fund's vice president. He also will serve as vice chairman of Mr. Soros's philanthropy arm, the Open Society Institute.

Like the case of a man making a longtime concubine an honest woman, Messrs. Soros and Malloch Brown's relationship was a source of whispering and resentment for years and is now legitimate. From now on, the public has no business prying into any arrangement Mr. Soros makes to compensate Mr. Malloch Brown.

The Open Society Institute can now harness Mr. Malloch Brown's zeal for helping the poor, and Quantum can use his financial talents and organizational skills. Mr. Soros stands to receive an excellent return for his outlay, however much he pays.

Things were a little murkier during the years that Mr. Soros utilized Mr. Malloch Brown's talents and skills to yield influence over public organizations. From the World Bank, Mr. Malloch Brown moved on to serve as the administrator of the United Nations Development Program and then across the street to Turtle Bay, where until December he was deputy secretary-general.

While his friend was UNDP chief, Mr. Soros collaborated with the development agency on many projects, especially in the former Soviet satellites, where the Open Society Institute advanced such worthy causes as instilling democratic values.

UNDP sources involved in projects in places like Kyrgyzstan and Georgia say that whenever the UNDP's bureaucracy would try to set a course of action that conflicted with the institute's agenda, Mr. Soros or his representatives would overrule them. Since Mr. Malloch Brown appointed Kalman Mizsei as the UNDP director for Europe and the former communist bloc in 2000, Mr. Mizsei has been seen as Mr. Soros's man at the agency.

In several remote countries, Mr. Soros's representatives share an office with UNDP staff. Sometimes residents have no idea where the Open Society Institute begins and the U.N. agency ends. The publicly financed agency and the private philanthropy, which is tied to a profitable hedge fund, are barely distinguishable.

Any attempt to clear up the confusion was hardly helped by the fact that the UNDP boss, Mr. Malloch Brown, practically lived with Mr. Soros. As I reported in 2005, Mr. Soros rented Mr. Malloch Brown a property adjacent to his own mansion in the upscale Westchester County town of Katonah.

Several news outlets have recently revisited the story, portraying it as a right-wing attack on Mr. Soros, a favorite punching bag. My reporting was a "vicious slander," Mr. Malloch Brown wrote to me over the weekend during a long email exchange that I initiated and he graciously answered.

But was it?

"Sir Mark pays a market rent," the Financial Times wrote last week, citing no source for the claim. In fact, real estate agents in the neighborhood told me at the time that the five-bedroom, nearly 5-acre property could fetch much more than $10,000, Mr. Malloch Brown's monthly rent — which was less than the $12,500 a month a previous tenant paid.

In an e-mail, Mr. Malloch Brown explained that he and his family pay for their utilities, unlike the previous tenant. But the fact remains that for half a decade, while real estate values were rising around the New York area, Mr. Malloch Brown was able to maintain a round figure rental arrangement that was slightly lower than that of a previous tenant.

As we have learned from the political skirmish now engulfing the World Bank, international institutions find it hard to set up rules separating private friendships from the public interest.

In an attempt to revitalize the UNDP, Mr. Malloch Brown had stressed the need for more cooperation with the private sector on development issues. This is not necessarily a bad idea, as long as clear rules are created to separate the public interest from that of private bodies. Mr. Malloch Brown's relationship with Mr. Soros made any attempt to do so only murkier.

And so he deserves congratulations now, as a straight financial arrangement has been struck between two talented powerhouses who obviously work together well.

So unless I'm much mistaken Des Brown is the only cabinet minister who has remained in the same job. Does Brown really think that Browne has done the sort of job that warrants this? A very black day for our Armed Forces.

Your not the only one that despises the BBC Graham Checker, I don,t know if you live in Scotland but the BBC here are basically another branch of the Socialist clan and even more to the left of BBC elswhere.
The BBC has been spinning this Brown farce ever since Blair decided to go however I can,t understand the praise for Brown from the likes of the Telegraph and Mail.
I like the rapid response from the Tory HQ, keep it up Andy, now get Tory spokesmen to really climb into the likes of Burely, Naughtie, Humphries, and the rest of the labour supporting media, time for Foxie, etal to say "your Labour party" be sarcastic, tough and yes nasty because they are all the enemy, no more Marquis of Queensberry rules, its time to get tough.

Your not the only one that despises the BBC Graham Checker, I don,t know if you live in Scotland but the BBC here are basically another branch of the Socialist clan and even more to the left of BBC elswhere.
The BBC has been spinning this Brown farce ever since Blair decided to go however I can,t understand the praise for Brown from the likes of the Telegraph and Mail.
I like the rapid response from the Tory HQ, keep it up Andy, now get Tory spokesmen to really climb into the likes of Burely, Naughtie, Humphries, and the rest of the labour supporting media, time for Foxie, etal to say "your Labour party" be sarcastic, tough and yes nasty because they are all the enemy, no more Marquis of Queensberry rules, its time to get tough.

There is one notable item coming out from the reshuffle: that Des Browne has been left at Defence but is to combine the post with that of Scottish Secretary.

One of the State’s main tasks is to maintain its armed forces so as to preserve the independence of the nation, the freedom of its people, the integrity of its territory, the freedom of its trade and to act in pursuit of the political and diplomatic interests of Her Majesty’s Government. That is a full time job: only once before has this post been combined with another, when the late Winston Churchill assumed it on 10th. May 1940 at a time when circumstances were somewhat different. Now to make it effectively a part-time post is a complete disgrace, especially when the incompetent incumbent is left in post. What sort of message does this send to our Armed Forces? What sort of message does this send to our enemies?

This will be seen very quickly to have been a major misjudgement by Gordon Brown and one may predict that it will soon be reversed (shortly after the incumbent cocks up again, one imagines). In the meantime the Tories should be hounding Des Browne as much as possible over his split responsibilities.

Let me get this straight:

PM-Gordon Brown - previous Cabinet Member
Chancellor-Alasdair Darling - previous Cabinet Member
Justice-Jack Straw - previous Cabinet Member (and on the same bloody brief)
Chief Whip-Geoff Hoon - previous Cabinet Member
Commons Leader-Harriet Harman - previous Cabinet Member
Culture - James Purnell - previous Minister of State
Defence - Des Browne - previous Cabinet Member AND in the same job
Development - Douglas Alexander - previous Cabinet Member
Duchy of Lancaster - Ed Milliband - 1st new face (although he was member of previous government)
Education - Ed Balls - previous Cabinet Member
Education (Mark 2) - John Denham - previous Minister of State
Environment - Hilary Benn - previous Cabinet Member
Foreign Secretary - David Miliband - previous Cabinet Member
Health - Alan Johnson - previous Cabinet Member
Home - Jacqui Smith - previous Cabinet Member
Industry - John Hutton - previous Cabinet Member
Leader of the Lords - Baroness Ashton of Upholland - 2nd new face (never heard of her - and prob won't hear much now either)
Community - Hazel Blears - previous Cabinet Member
Northern Ireland - Shaun Woodward - hmm.. hardly a 3rd "new face" but certainly a surprise - still, a previous minister
Transport - Ruth Kelly - previous Cabinet Member
Chief Sec - Andy Burnham - previous senior Minister
Work & Pensions - Peter Hain - previous Cabinet Member

So, after all that, I make 22 member of Gordon Browns cabinet. 16 were cabinet members under Tony Blair - or 73%! 4 were senior ministers and you can really only say 2 are "new faces" - less that 10%.


BBC headline NOT justified. It's just the same old bunch of jokers..

Graham Checker:Leader of the Lords - Baroness Ashton of Upholland - 2nd new face (never heard of her - and prob won't hear much now either)

How ungallant, Mr Checker. Lady Ashton is a distinguished former head of Business In The Community, health quangocrat and IIRC Mrs Peter Kellner.

This has been spun to be earth shattering. In fact it's a pretty modest reshuffling of the deck, bringing is a few Brown cronies and some reorganisation.
Darling - As chancellor will have no independent thoughts and will just do whatever Brown tells him to do. Very dull, what successes has he ever had in government?
Balls - No charisma, comes across on TV as very arrogant. To be tested
Dougie Alexander - I'm told he's actually a pretty nice guy. Didn't listen over road pricing though. Probably one of the more competent NuLab ministers.
Cooper - Incompetent over HIPs, also let Ruth Kelly take the fall so no balls (lol). Saved by marriage to Balls and by being a top Brownite
Milliband D - Is it me, but I'm deeply underwhelmed by this supposed rising star and potential next Labour leader. Clearly did a deal with Brown to become Foreign Sec. Brown to groom him as replacement? Foreign Sec a good role for this
Purnell - Who?
Straw - Pretty odious, a Labour survivor, knows where the bodies are buried. Basher will be happy facing him
Smith - Basher will also love facing her. Will rip her to shreds? She's too nice to be Home sec.
Browne - Truly incompetent. How he hung on other than by being a mate of Gordon's is a mystery. Hatesd
Hain - Truly the most odious NuLab minister. Vain, vacuous, disloyal, untrustworthy and so on. Basically a shit
Milliband E - Arrogant and patronising. Not as effective as big bro, but a key insider and mate of GB
Harman - An ocean going hypocrite (to use Quentin Letts words). Truly awful. How on earth did she get elected?
Burnham - Comes across well, although responsible (with Hewitt) for the disasterous NHS "reforms"
Blears - Hate her. Patronising nanny.
Johnson - Nice guy (supposedly), bit of a spinner though (which of this rogues gallery are not?)
Hutton - Actually has some intergrity, which is rare in NuLab. Suprise! He's competent as well. Really did say "Gordon Brown will make a fuc*ing awful PM, and you can quote me". So balls too. Maybe Brown was making the point that he doesn't bare grudges.
Kelly - Awful. Incompetent. So far out of her depth she's in the middle of the Atlantic.
Baroness Scotland - Fairly competent although did negotiate the totally one sided extradition treaty with the US

Davies and Hague will make mincemeat out of Smith and Milliband.

MikeA - beat you to it ;-)

They're almost all useless retards.

The only ones I respect are John Denham and John Hutton.

Otherwise, they're all ar$e-licking careerist idiots.

Seriously, compare them to past bigwigs like Healey, Benn, Hattersley etc.. They may have been outrageous lefties, but they were serious parliamentarians and had some integrity.

Miliband will be destroyed by Malloch Brown who knows all the UN political infighting tricks.....this is certainly a way of keeping Miliband very busy watching his back....

The reaction of most normal people to these appointments will be a massive yawn. I've never heard of many of these people and I'm certain the public hasn't.


‘be sarcastic, tough and yes nasty because they are all the enemy’

‘Basically a shit’

‘Hate her. Patronising nanny.’

‘They're almost all useless retards.’

‘Otherwise, they're all ar$e-licking careerist idiots.’

Don't you think any normal member of the public, reading said 'foam flecked' comments, might be entitled to say;

'They were sooooh right when they called themselves The Nasty Party'

Yes, but TT the comments happen to be accurate. I'd have been harsher, to be honest.

The new Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling, was interviewed by John Humphrys on ‘Today” this morning. Darling has kept so low a profile in Cabinet in the last couple of years that he has become positively horizontal, so one had forgotten that he is someone who is really not terribly impressive. His most recent outing has been at the DTI, nowadays a non-job given the extent to which the EU now has complete power over our trade policy.

Humphrys was obviously puzzled as to what Gordon Brown meant to change and why, given that Brown has been Government No. 2 for ten years (as Humphrys put it, ‘Domestic Prime Minister’), had Brown not been clamouring all that time for such change.

Darling’s performance was woeful. The kindest thing one could say is that he woffled. Several times Humphrys put to him: “What are you going to change?” This elicited nothing other than a rehearsal of all that has gone before which Humphrys rightly described as “developments of policy, not change”. In other words, a lot of hot woffle.

The interview is well worth listening to. He is clearly not the intellectual equal of Gordon brown (whatever else he may be, Brown is a bright chap) and on this showing one doubts he will be a great success in his new job.

Darling was educated at the Loretto (Scotland’s oldest boarding school), so we have replaced a scion of Fettes with one from Loretto: any one got a run down on where the new cabinet was educated?

No comment from the BBC, then, that David Miliband is a raving Europhile. As foreign secretary, he will be a key figure in the negotiations for the new treaty. the "Eurosceptic" Brown has appointed a nice "safe" pair of hands for the "colleagues".

Editor, we need to keep a very careful eye on these new regional ministers. This looks like election campaigning financed by the taxpayer. I fully expect each to have a large budget to 'explain' the 'successes' of Brown's government in each region via billboards and radio and TV advertising. Don't be surprised if we don't see the appointment of regional 'delivery' Tsars whose full-time role will be to 'counteract' negative publicity and promote the latest government initiative.

Very good point Baskerville. Very good point.

This unhappy piece now emerges onto the scene

“Her Majesty's Government - Ministers for the Regions
28 June 2007
The Queen has been pleased to approve the following Ministerial appointments:
Minister for the North of England and Deputy Chief Whip (Treasurer of Her Majesty's Household)
The Rt Hon Nick Brown MP
Minister for the North West
The Rt Hon Beverly Hughes MP [1]
Minister for Yorkshire and the Humber
Caroline Flint MP
Minister for the Olympics and for London [2]
The Rt Hon Tessa Jowell MP
Minister for the South West
Ben Bradshaw MP
Minister for the East Midlands
Gillian Merron MP
Minister for the West Midlands
Liam Byrne MP
Minister for the East of England
Barbara Follett MP”

Now what on earth are these people going to do (apart from acquire ministerial cars and the usual snouts-in-the-trough opportunities)?

Britian does not do Gauleiters. And what terrible sin have the decent people of East Anglia done to deserve Barbara Follett?

Looks like any hopes we had that they would kill off this policy of regionalisation have been dashed.

Interestingly, still no sign of a minister for Europe. Hoon was in that position but who, if anyone, has replaced him?

"Traditional Tory"

I don't know what the f**k your problem is, but you insult or are rude to virtually every single poster on Conhome.

Why don't you p**s off back to where you came from?

You're clearly a spotty, friendless little nerd who gets his kicks out of his internet alter-ego by insulting anyone and everyone.

You are in no position to lecture anyone given you spend your whole time on this website slagging off the party.

Now, be a good little boy and f**k off.

Jacqui Smith is the minister who unliaterally abolished reference to marital status on government forms back in 2003. The Times reports that she is married.

The ITV news item this evening at 6.30pm on the cabinet changes was clearly written by 10 Downing Street. all sorts of claims were made that totally merged with what No 10 wants us to believe - "9/10" etc. For bias, this all took the biscuit.
There was no contrary views expressed and no comments allowed from any Opposition Parties

Is ITN impartial or not?

Minister for Yorkshire and the Humber
Caroline Flint MP

Minister for the North of England and Deputy Chief Whip (Treasurer of Her Majesty's Household)
The Rt Hon Nick Brown MP

Just what was William Hague supposed to be doing ?

No minister for SE England?

Only London.

Just confirms what we know.

He hates the South East of England as much as the south east hates him.

Jack Straw is to be First Secretary of State according to the Justice ministry website, in addition to being Lord Chancellor. This title is the one used by the 1960s Wilson Government to denote Deputy PM and also held by three who had title Deputy PM (Butler, Hestletine and Prescott). So Jack Straaw is Deputy PM without the expense of a pointless ODPM.

Baskerville @ 17.33 - it could also be a sneaky way of trying to legitimise the unwanted regional assemblies. Time for a hard hitting campaign on our side to oppose this?

I very much hope that Cameron thinks long and hard before he appoints shadow ministers for the regions.England is one unit and should be treated as such.I agree wholeheartedly with David Cooper we should make our opposition to regional assemblies very clear and this would be one way of doing it.

Editor - could you please delete the post by "Graham Checker" at 18:37, since this is surely supposed to be an all-ages web-site. (Feel free to delete this boring message at the same time.)


I agree entirely.

Refusing to play ball with Brown's carving up of England would again send a clear message that Cameron has his own vision and won't just let Brown dictate the rules of the game.

Editor I am adding this in support of Andrew Lilico's post of 21:52. There is no need for such language. You may not agree with Traditional Tory's view ~ I happen to ~ but he has every right to express them

If that is a "cabinet of all the talents", then no wonder Gordon is trying to poach some Tories and Lib Dens! Completely underwhelming.

Vis a vis shadowing this new cabinet, it is always best for a general to choose his field of battle. Cameron should pursue his own agenda, not try to second guess Brown's.

Fascinating site and well worth the visit. I will be back_

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