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Well if Clarke is "already back" then Cameron doesn't need to risk the divisions that giving him a formal position might cause.

Better still, stick him in the Lords to go up directly against Mandy and give another safe seat to somebody younger and less out of touch!

"I hope that David Cameron gets on with it as soon as possible, put everyone out of their misery and we can look forward to following the fortunes of the rejuvenated team".

Hear, hear, Jonathan. However, the membership of this shadow cabinet must be looked at as if it were the real cabinet, because that is what it will probably become within 18 months at the very most.

It wil be "rejuvenated" in a metaphorical sense but one or two of the present incumbents do seem a little inexperienced in the ways of the world, so the addition of a bit of gravitas and political experience would not come amiss, even if only for the first two or three critical years.

Hear, Hear, Jonathan - DC please get on with it!

Hmmm...why so much emphasis on Hague being the deputy??

Previously i had though of a scenario whereby Cameron might consider 'promoting' Osbourne to deputy (to avoid the appearence of demotion) and then moving Clarke (rightly or wrongly to shadow chancelor.

BUT maybe he's doing this with Hague instead! Taking the foreign affairs portfolio off his hands, promoting him to deputy to handle the big picture (which seems to have been happening more and more recently!)and then moving someone else into the foreign policy portfolio (Osbourne, Clarke?? - although both would be admittedly quite bizzarre) or maybe a more wide ranging reshuffle?

Whatevers happening there seems to be A LOT of political posturing going on. I'm pretty sure that there will be some big moves in the reshuffle, and compltely unsuprised if Clarke is moved into a senior position!

Jonathan "Tim wrote earlier in the week that speculation about this reshuffle had got out of control - and he was absolutely right"
The issue is that Tim is part of the problem in feeding the Right Wing media and "some" individuals who blog on this site. So stop the "Not us gov" sob story you are partly to blame.

"If it were done when it is done then it were well it were done quickly"

The longer Cameron puts off a reshuffle the more that speculation will cause damage.

We all have our own candidates as to who should be sacked and who brought in but at this stage Cameron ought to be putting in place his team to fight the next General Election which is likely to be be Spring 2010 but could possibly be called by Brown from the Labour Conference this year denying the Conservative Party their Conference in October 2009.

I personally feel he ought to bring both David Davis and Ken Clarke back in from the cold. As to whom he should sack, no points for guessing who would be top of my hit list!

Ken Clarke inside the tent pissing out, mmmmmm.

I suppose Cameron remembers Clarke pissing out for Thatcher. He might live to regret putting the experienced knife-wielder so close to his back.

I personally think it is about time to announce this reshuffle. I would like to see Ken Clarke, David Davis, John Redwood & Iain Duncan Smith all brough back to the top table. There is no point in us having ll of this experience and not using it. This reshuffle needs to be looked at as though it's going to form the next Government of the United Kingdom. To do that we need some experienced people to bring on the lesser experienced people. My reshuffle would be:
Leader: David Cameron
Deputy Leader/Foreign Secretary: William Hague
Chancellor: George Osbourne
Home Secretary: Iain Duncan Smith
Justice Secretary/Lord Chancellor: Douglas Hogg
Defence Secretary: David Davis
Childrens Secretary: Michael Gove
Universities Secretary: Adam Afriyie
Health Secretary: Adam Lansley
Work & Pensions Secretary: Chris Grayling
Transport Secretary: Dr. Liam Fox
Environment Secretary: Jeremy Hunt
Communities & Local Government Secretary: Grant Shapps
Minister for Community Cohesion: Baroness Warsi
Minister for Security: Baroness Neville-Jones
Culture Secretary: Ed Vaizey
Leader of the Commons: John Redwood
Business Secretary: Ken Clarke
Northern Ireland Secretary: Owen Paterson
Scotland Secretary: David Mundell
Wales Secretary: Cheryl Gillan
International Development Secretary: Maria Miller
Chief Secretary to the Treasury: Justine Greening
Leader of the Lords: Lord Strathclyde
Party Chairman: Eric PicklesEnergy Secretary: Greg Clark
Chair of Research Department: Oliver Letwin
Chief Whip: Patrick McLoughlin
Attorney General: Dominic Grieve
Minister for the Cabinet Office: Nick Herbert
Housing Minister: Damian Green
Foreign Office Minister: Lord Trimble
Lord Chief Whip: Baronoess Anelay

There certainly needs to be a reshuffle and I'd like to see people with experience of government brought in. The way I see it a lot of people in the shadow cabinet have grandiose ideas about change but seem very unaware of the difficulties and practicalities on-the-ground, of how to actually implement policy. For this reason there needs to be more balance, with old hands drafted in to explain, in real-life terms on how to get things done.

A cabinet reshuffle should also reflect a return to compassionate conservatism, which has lost its sheen lately with comments about an underclass and single mothers etc. This sort of ghettoization is not going to win votes and plays into the hands of the other parties, who, with some justification, can still claim there is a strong 'uncaring' current running through Conservative thought.

Inspired by Robert this would be my ideal team:

Leader: David Cameron
Foreign Secretary: Michael Gove
Chancellor: Sir Malcolm Rifkind
Home Secretary: Michael Gove
Justice Secretary: Dominic Grieve
Defence Secretary: Iain Duncan Smith
Education and Childrens Secretary: John Hayes
Universities Secretary: David Willetts
Health Secretary: Liam Fox
Work & Pensions Secretary: Chris Grayling
Transport Secretary: Ian Taylor
Environment Secretary: Jeremy Hunt
Communities & Local Government Secretary: Eric Pickles
Minister for Community Cohesion: Paul Goodman
Minister for Security: Baroness Neville-Jones
Culture Secretary: Ed Vaizey
Leader of the Commons: William Hague
Business Secretary: Michael Fallon
Northern Ireland Secretary: Owen Paterson
Scotland Secretary: Lord Forsyth
Wales Secretary: Steven Crabb
International Development Secretary: Maria Miller
Chief Secretary to the Treasury: John Redwood
Leader of the Lords: Lord Strathclyde
Party Chairman: George Osborne
Chief Whip: Andrew Mackay
Attorney General: Edward Garnier

Umbrella Man - would you sack Baroness Warsi?

Umbrella man: you have got Michael Gove on overtime. Shurely shome mishtake there?

"Umbrella Man - would you sack Baroness Warsi?"

Is she any use? If not she should go.

I agree Michael Gove, clever as he is, cannot be both Home Secretary and Foreign Secretary, Umbrella Man which is he to be and who do you fancy to fill the vacant slot?

Although I like Michael Gove a lot I meant Nick Herbert to be at Home Affairs.

Thank you for pointing out my error.

I think one needs to be fair to Dave here (something I am very rarely). The media can pronounce all they like on the reshuffle and that's totally beyond his control. To criticise him for dragging matters on seems unjust.

I just cannot believe that he would bring Ken Clarke back. As someone totally unsigned up to Project Cameron, even I can see that he stands a realistic prospect of standing outside No.10. Clarke would start a whole series of internal rifts just as things were settling down again in the Tories' favour. It seems just too strategically stupid a move to make, although he, Redwood and Fallon are probably the only three on the Tory benches who have the ability to be Shadow Chancellor and to be taken seriously by business and The City at large.

Michael Gove is a great guy but keep him out of foreign policy at all costs.

Will Cameron want to use Obama's inauguration as cover, or will he prefer to wait a bit longer and get optimum coverage for it?

This reshuffle is a Westminster bubble story, nothing more. And all the pontificating by the political lobby, and here in the blogsphere is a real case of naval gazing, your all fair getting yourself in a lather about it. Calm down.

Cameron should carry out the reshuffle at a time of his own choosing, and when it benefits us most. It was Tony Blair's biggest weakness whilst PM, he managed to make a pigs ear of it every time.

"although he, Redwood and Fallon are probably the only three on the Tory benches who have the ability to be Shadow Chancellor and to be taken seriously by business and The City at large. "

Says it all really.

What's this "Project Cameron"? Smells very much to me like "Project Blair"? I have to say that I do not like "Personality Cults" in British Politics.

I have a feeling the reshuffle will be far smaller than we think and could even be something of an anti climax. I would like Michael Gove to stay where he is - he is excellent with the Education brief. As for others - I would like to see Andrew MacKay as Chief Whip and Jeremy Hunt at Environment. I'd also like to see a place somewhere for Greg Hands.

The next three days Chris will overshadow any reshuffle IF it is designed to attract attention. Tomorrow there'll be lots of banking announcements and the following 48 hours will be all about Obama.

Ken Clark would be an asset to any cabinet but as for bringing back David Davis how long is it going to be before he as another rush of blood to the head and resigns again.

I said this on the discussion over Villiers slight policy change, so here it is:

I have just read an article on a link of the frontpage, suggesting Theresa Villiers expressed the wish to leave shadow cabinet due to a lack of confidence in her own abilty, if this is case still and if people generally don't support her, and with papers rife about Ken Clarke, why not give the shadown transport brief to him. Geoff Hoons a close ally of Gordon Brown, and Clarke could be put to good use to destroy Brown policies, leaving the popular Alan Duncan in the brief of shadow business secretary pleasing the Tory Right. Such a move would also push Clarke away from the European views more, as with the business secretary role he could land in the debate over the Euro etc, playing into the hands of Mandelson. Clarke Vs Hoon would be an interesting one to watch, not just because there constituencys are close, but they are two big beasts are either side of the house.

Ken is absolutly needed and as soon as possible. Oh and William ditch those last outside intrests we are going to be busy.
One Party for One Nation, we have to be united for the best intrest of the vast majority.

This would be pick of a team: (think I have all roles etc)

Leader: David Cameron
Deputy Leader/ Foreign Office: William Hague
Leader of the Commons: Theresa May
Chancellor: George Osbourne
Transport Secretary: Ken Clarke
Home Secretary: David Davis
Justice Secretary: Eric Pickles
Defence Secretary: Dr Liam Fox
Education and Childrens Secretary: Michael Cove
Universities Secretary: David Willetts
Health Secretary: Andrew Lansley
Work & Pensions Secretary: Chris Grayling
Environment Food and Rural Affair Secretary: Anne Mcintosh
Energy and Climate Change Secretary: Greg Clark
Communities & Local Government Secretary: Sayeeda Warsi
Minister for Community Cohesion: Steven Crabb
Minister for Security: Baroness Neville-Jones
Culture Secretary: Ed Vaizey
Business Secretary: Alan Duncan
Northern Ireland Secretary: Owen Paterson
Scotland Secretary: Caroline Spelman
Wales Secretary: Cherly Gillan
International Development Secretary: Andrew Mitchell
Housing Minister: Grant Shapps
Chief Secretary to the Treasury: John Redwood
Leader of the Lords: Lord Strathclyde
Party Chairman: Nick Herbert
Chief Whip: Patrick McLoughin
Attorney General: Dominic Grieve
Shadow Foreign Office Minister: David Lidington

Correction to the above, Leader of the Commons: Jeremy Hunt instead of Theresa May.

Reshuffle now so as not to draw too much attention to it.

Robert Owens omitted to nominate a Europe Minister. Would readers enjoy seeing Gummer or Hurd (senior) in that role. They could join their old mucker Clarke around the Cabinet table and together sign off a few new Treaties. maybe they could gang up on Dave (if necessary?) and threaten him with dire consequences if he refuses to apply to join the Euro.

All jolly good fun for the future.

I'd personally move Owen Paterson up a bit. he seems wasted on the Northern Ireland brief, irrespective of how he seems to have done the impossible with it. Cameron, Hague, Clarke, Osborne, Grieve, Davis, Warsi FTW.

What has Ken been doing for the last 10 years? Just back for teh winning leg?

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