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Absolutely agree with you about Greg Hands and no, NOT just because he's been my hard-working local MP since 2005 but he has a great deal to offer the Party. You only have to read the excellent articles he writes for Conservative Home.
I also agree that Patrick Mercer should be brought back - he should never have lost his job in the first place.

Graham Brady - no way, he showed IMHO real disloyalty to the party on the issue of grammar schools. Yes, I know that he has a few in his constituency unlike almost the rest of the UK.
But what ever your views on grammar schools, by opening up these types of divisions within the party when it was in a vulnerable position during Brown's honeymoon showed very poor political judgement and I suspected that it would backfire in the longer term.
Ed Balls is again looking at those grammar schools and they could be very vulnerable.
Attacking them appeals to the Labour core vote and will be used as a political tool to push his socialist credentials while being seen as a way to try and kick start another damaging row or debate within our party.

The David Davis resignation over the principle of civil liberties showed us how you can fight for something you really believe in without hurting or attacking your own party in the process. Brady got more airtime and publicity because he was so eager to turn his guns on his own leader and colleagues. - an entirely different situation from either the Mercer interview or the actions of Davis.

I note that, according to conservatives.com at least, we don't have a new Shadow Attorney General yet. Does that suggest a bigger reshuffle in the offing if it hasn't been filled already?

Nadine Dorries would be very good at health or CCHQ.

Yes Nadine Dorries for CCHQ - maybe Chairman! If she was given a role like that she'd achieve a lot by harnessing her energies
on party issues rather than abortion etc. Given her background and personality she could be gold-dust for the party if given some responsibility.

It will be great to see Adam Affriya in the shadow cabinet, and Greg Hands, Justine Greening, Ed Vaizey and Patrick Mercer I agree should be promoted and given more brief.

Graham Brady is a great asset and should retun to the frontbench.

Eric Pickels is the best person for CCHQ if there is to be a change, he will gell the party together even more.

I would be prepared to bet on Damian Green over Justine Greening - he is excellent and should not be under-estimated.

Totally agree about Nadine Dorries potential - a principled woman with tenacity. I could see her at Health or CCHQ as Vincent commented.

I 100% agree with bringing back Mercer and Brady. Cameron needs to build a big tent. He won't prosper surrounded by yes women.

You are not looking at this the right way yah. Green is a man. Greeing a woman. That's why Greening will get the promotion.

Nadine Dorries is a liability. Not to mention that she's a bit of a lightweight. Green etc are good quality MPs who aren't in favour because of this current push "diversity".

The current front-bench seems to be pretty strong presently and I don't think it needs tinkering with. If it ain't broke don't try to fix it!

Greening, Brady, Field, please.

I understand that Mr Grieve is combining being shadow Home Sec and shadow Attorney General. Bad news, especially since there are so many pressing legal issues such as the implications of the Irish referendum, etc.

John Hayes is an undiscovered national treasure and should be PM, if not, King

What is this ridiculous business about Justine Greening being talented? I have seen no evidence of it.

All this is a load of nonsense. Why change the Shadow Cabinet at all. The fact that the party is way ahead in the polls suggests that its doing a good job so why change it.
All this fluff and nonsense all the time about personalities degrades politics. Lets concentrate on policy.

As the Editor rightly points out;

"More difficult for David Cameron is who to remove from the top table".

Perhaps performance might provide some clues; Trevor Kavanagh, an astute political editor, provides a clue in today's article (linked) when he discusses who might have to tell Brown that his time is up.

He says that Gordon is still revered by Labour MPs as their greatest chancellor. Jeff Randall or Ian Cowie (had they been MPs) or Vince Cable would have disabused them and the general public of that notion long ago.

The fact that our treasury team has not even dented him suggests that changes are needed here.

Trevor Kavanagh's article also brings out another very interesting point, given Labour's proprietorial claims to the NHS; he points out that it was originally a tory idea, pushed by Churchill, and backed by the Liberals. Labour originally opposed it.

Again, I remain to be convinced that our plans have been articulated vigorously enough for producing an NHS that really meets the nation's needs in the 21st century.

Don't cut and paste, re-type if poss.

Nadine should be in Health surely? Didn't agree with all her points on the abortion issue but massively impressed with her performance

I also think Stephen Crabb deserves promotion.

He's very down-to-earth and is a good face for Conservatism in Wales.

Why is that John Redwood is still out in the cold. Redwood is one of the finest brains and brings in a wealth of experience and is also respected by the middle of the road apolitical people.

If at any time in the last eleven years we had seriously wanted to challenge Labour's economic record, we would have put John Redwood to the job of shadow chancellor. When all the brand-building has been satisfactorily done - not yet presumably - we still could do so. Good brain and sharp teeth - shame to waste them.

I don't really like reshuffle tittle tattle, but I'll indulge if I must. :)

However, Do we need a new Shadow Attorney General?

Dominic is still doing both jobs. This is only sustainable for a short time.

In Dominic keeping his old post are things being prepared for a Davis return? And therefore a return to the status quo ante.

Admirers of John Redwood need to get real. Yes he's clever but he's also frightening to voters. He's too ideological. Too crazy looking on TV. I wish voters judged politicians on worthier criteria but they don't.


Justine Greening
Greg Hands
Greg Clark
Malcolm Rifkind [too talented to waste]
Nadine Dorries


Spelman [ hopeless, pre Crick]

I also worry about Dominic Grieve being given such a high profile role as Shadow Home Sectretary. Too cerebral, won't appeal to Sun readers, lacks popular appeal.

Eric Pickles would be a far better bet as Party Chairman, the three great offices of state should be held by Hague, Osbourne and Gove.

Two other points

Patrick Mercer- kicked us collectively in the balls when we were down during Brown's brief honeymoon. Showed spectacular bad judgement, and should not be rewarded.
Like Quentin Davies, without the Grecian 2000.

John Redwood- give him a good job when we get in Govt, but keep him off the telly when we are still trying to achieve this objective. Same applies to Oliver Letwin.

Pickles should replace Spelman - who should be sacked.
The Wintertons and the MEPs with dubious expenses should possibly have the whip withdrawn or some kind of clear reprimand.
The message needs to go out loud and clear that we take this seriously, and we are going to give the public value for every penny of their money.
Sorry if I sound alarmist, but this is the one thing that could seriously derail us.

The time when it might have been feared that the prospect of John Redwood's membership of the shadow cabinet would "frighten the horses" is surely long gone, given the poll leads and the fact that it has finally been realised that Labour have fouled up the economy big time.

With that in mind, we need a chancellor in waiting who is going to be tough and ruthless in finding scope to make immediate savings as a prelude to tax cuts when the time is right, not to make vacuous promises about "sharing the proceeds of growth". Just read his blog entries for the specifics. He is ideally suited for the position.

I agree 100% with David Cooper at 13.06 about John Redwood. We have to have someone as chancellor who will be on top of the job and equally at home with business and economics.

I don't care how he looks on TV; he couldn't be worse than Gordon Brown at that and he lasted 10 years. Anyway, is there anyone better?

I agree with Belchamber. After eleven years of NuLab mismanagement by those nice, touchy feely lot, people would in fact come to appreciate that Redwood has the brains and the experience to sort things out. The electorate needs to be aware that our front bench is not just the slick, young enthusiastic buch, but also consists of some able people who masterminded the successful era of the 1980s.

Besides, Redwood comes across as a serious person compared to the NuLab pygmies.

I like Redwood a lot, but I still need convincing that he won't frighten the voters! Can anyone allay my fears?


Davis (Grieve is pro-ECHR and looks a bit soft and nerdy, as has been said, to appeal to the Sun readers)


May (awful, just awful)

I am suprised that my local MP, Philip Dunne hasn't made it to the frontbench yet. He's older and a bit old-school, but charming and personable and there aren't many people on the Tory backbenches who have 20 years of genuine business experience behind them and have set up a FTSE 250 company. Plus although he never seems ouvertly political, he did win Ludlow back from the LibDems, so he must have some decent political skills. Surely a role in the economic team? He's just the sort of credible person we need behind Osborne.

Gove should stay where he is, fantastic job.
Grayling needs greater recognition. Dorries needs moving up, clever and beautiful.What has Greening done? Too identikit politician for me. Pickles for Chairman.

What about a prominent 'attack dog' role for Dave's least favourite backbench MP?

No, not David Maclean MP. Shipley's Phil Davies. He made a quite brilliant intervention on Harman during last weeks Equality Bill debate.

In the same debate, John Bercow MP also all but confirmed that he has joined the Labour Party.

Philip Davies?! Please God No, No and Thrice No!!

It would be good to see Mark Field back. As the Editor says, it would show David is a big tent leader and help bring everyone together.

Redwood scares some Conservative horses, let alone the Lib Dem and Labour ones.

I totally agree re Mark Field - a really nice guy with a tremendous amount to offer. Brilliant on Wednesday's Daily Politics, too.

Nadine is another one with star quality - I saw her speak to an audience of Sixth Formers (ie future target voters) at my old school and they were falling at her feet by the end!

I'm also a fan of Adam Afriye, Stewart Jackson and the charming Philip Dunne.

Out go Spelperson, Aintworthit, Alan Duncan, May,Letwin.

Back comes Cash, Mercer, Shepherd,Howwarth Redwoord and any one who can help keep europe at bay. In view of their financial acumen I suggest one or both Wintertons for Treasury posts.

I agree wholeheartedly with Andy @ 14.30 - 'Gove should stay where he is, fantastic job.'

I saw him briefly on the Box, in some programme interacting with somewhat cynical school kids, and he defintely has what it takes!!

I think that any politician, such as Brady and others that have demonstrated that they cannot work out what comment might be politically thoughtless should NOT be given higher office. After all, when David Cameron has had an uphill struggle to get where he is at the moment, with media hacks watching and assessing his every move in order to pounce, the stupid comments of some of these MP's, should NOT be seen to have benefitted them in any way.

"I'm also a fan of Adam Afriye" - Cecily @ 15.50

yet are unable to spell his name... :-)

Adam @ 14:12,

I, too, have heard LOTS of good things about Philip Dunne.

I agree that he'd be a very good candidate for the frontbench.

Lucy: Ah, a typo (also, I note, made by Cleethorpes Rock) - how utterly unforgivable! While we're at it, let's have a go at John Pendergast @ 16.14, too!

Actually, let's not, as it's petty and irrelevant to the thread. As is this, so I'll shut up. :)

No one mentions Shadow Cabinet member 'Baroness' Sayeeda Warsi... I wonder if that's because no one can really believe she's in it...

Keep Mad Nad off the front-bench!!! She's a liability. What is more she does not reply to e-mails. V. rude.

"although Justine Greening is a more likely bet than Damian Green"

This is daft. Damian Green proved to be very capable when holding the briefs for Education, Immigration, and so on. The man has ability. Greening is an untested populist.

Perhaps Nigel Evans could be promoted to take the Wales job. Just kidding.

With possibly two years to go before the next election, this seems the ideal time for Cameron to bring forward some experienced MPs currently languishing on the back benches - and to give some of the newer intake a chance to show what they're made of.

Of the former, I would single out Patrick Mercer - who's proved to be one of the few, sane voices consistently speaking out on behalf of our desperately overstrethced forces. And Mark Field, not only for his wide experience of economic and legal issues, but also for his sterling finance committee work.

I'd also reckon that Justine Greening is definitely worth a lift up the ladder.

AND...Dave would be absolutely mad not to pick Eric Pickles for Party Chairman!

Ed Vaizey - agree. Good bloke with an easy going nature, good on TV too. Mark Field - agree - he's my MP and has done a great job; replying to me personally on all occasions I have written to him and whinged about something.

Chips @ 17.28
Maybe she doesn't reply because you are obvioulsy so rude.
What was your relationship with your mother like?

David Burrowes for International Development please.

Couldn't agree more that it is time that DC moved on from very boring, 'Notting Hill sect' thinkers to some genuine big hitters in his cabinet line-up. You will notice I have left out the word 'shadow'. You now need big hitters who can talk about genuine Conservative policies, going through consultations on the practicalities of those policies, explaining them and preparing to implement them. Everyone knew what Thatcher's govt stood for in 1979 and what policies she would implement in govt and she delivered the policies she had promised. You will get hit more and more by 'what are your policies on xyz issue . . ', ' what different policies will a Conservative govt implement' etc etc as the day approaches. I agree, for this reason, with Redwood. I also want to see a Conservative govt implementing radical policies which can appeal to voters in the North of England who find most of the current shadow team cannot even find the North on their Sat-Navs. For this reason P Davies, from Shipley, is an excellent asset on such issues as communities, law & order, immigration where the North of England voter cannot understand where Camerloon and his team are coming from. It's even worse now for Northern voters since D Davis left the team - we could emphasize with him

It is time to remove the deadwood ! David Mundell is pretty hopeless and we need a stronger figure to fight Labour in Scotland as Shadow Secretary of State . Lord Strathclyde is a superb politicians with the experience to spear-head a fight back in ten or so marginal seats that we feature in North of the Border . Alan Duncan is an arch moderniser who is good on TV and as such is a better bet for the DEFRA brief than the ever hopeless Peter Ainsworth . Shalesh Vara is a fine politician who would be better at the Cabinet Office post than the invisible and pointless Maude . We need to tackle Labour's weak position in the Commons and Nigel Evans is just the kind of tough politician to hit Labour hard . Adam Afriye will make a far better Universities Spokesman than David Willetts who has had many chances to prove himself and has been found wanting . Justine Greening has made an impact at the Treasury team by fighting the car tax hikes and so would be first class as Shadow Business Secretary and David Burrows would be a superior International Development Shadow Secretary . We need real radical reform to improve healthcare as the trend moves in a free market direction not a BMA mouthpiece so Angela Watkinson ought to replace the inferior Andrew Lansley . Caroline Spelman & Theresa May have had since 1998 to prove that they deserve to be on the frontbench and have yet to prove that while the great Lord Forsyth needs to be both Shadow Lords Leader & Policy Director - Letwin needs to be sacked as he just comes over as daft rather than a cabinet minister in waiting . Eric Pickles for Party Chairman is an obvious decision as is the superb Damian Green for the Local Government portfolio and David Davis back as Shadow Home Secretary . Grieve just replicates the flaws of Letwin as Shadow Home Secretary while David Davis is the man of the hour who is fighting for our freedom in defence of what we gained in 1215 & 1689 . Mr Grieve should just be Shadow Attorney General - he is jolly good at it after all. Just imagine Nigel Evans & Eric Pickles taking it in turns to expose the stupidity of Harriet Harman . Ms Harman has been let off the hook by the ever feeble Spelman - May double act - time to finish Harman off good & proper . If Team Cameron has had enough of Dr Fox then Sir Malcolm Rifkind could be a superb Shadow Defence Secretary in his sleep owing to his experience and ability . Our big poll lead is because peole are hurting in the pocket while Cameron comes accross as better than Brown . We need to make a positive case for a modern Conservative Government so that when we win office again we have a positive mandate to change Britain for the better . Spelman , Ainsworth , Mitchell , May , Letwin , Maude , Willetts , Lansley and Mundell have had enough chances while the replacements I suggest could hardly be more invisible & lacklustre .

No Edith - I was polite and if you like I will send you the e-mails. Sadly, my mother is dead, thanks for that!

I don't think anyone has mentioned Mark Harper yet, I'd have thought he'd be well worth consideration for promotion.

I think my local MP Bill Wiggin should be given a chance, he has been elected since 2001 and has the ability to do well with rural affairs.

He and Philip Dunne could be a formidable team from the Marches!

Burrowes, Dunne and Dorries should all have significant roles. Dorries very likeable, fantastic blog. Someone will offer her a job on a newspaper soon.

Caroline is a dead woman walking what we need is a party chairman who is charismatic and amiable - Hugo Swire fits the bill.

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