Shadow cabinet appointments: full list

Ed Miliband surprises us all and appoints Alan Johnson as shadow chancellor.

It looks like we've got our first confirmed shadow cabinet appointments. Ed Miliband has stunned the Westminster village by naming Alan Johnson as shadow chancellor, with Ed Balls and Yvette Cooper, the two most economically literate figures, missing out. Instead, Balls becomes shadow home secretary and Cooper, who topped the shadow cabinet poll, is rewarded with the post of shadow foreign secretary.

Elsewhere, Miliband sensibly uses two of a possible five discretionary appointments to bring back Peter Hain (who was three votes short of election) as shadow Welsh secretary and Shaun Woodward back as shadow Northern Ireland secretary.

Miliband's campaign manager, Sadiq Khan, becomes shadow justice secretary and his other key allies, John Denham and Hilary Benn, become shadow business secretary and shadow leader of the Commons respectively.

Andy Burnham, who impressed many in the party with his leadership campaign, is rewarded with the education portfolio and the post of general election co-ordinator.

UPDATE: Here's the new shadow cabinet in full.

Leader: Ed Miliband

Deputy Leader and International Development Secretary: Harriet Harman

Shadow Chancellor: Alan Johnson

Shadow Foreign Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities: Yvette Cooper

Shadow Home Secretary: Ed Balls

Chief Whip: Rosie Winterton

Shadow Education Secretary and Election co-ordinator: Andy Burnham

Shadow Justice Secretary: Sadiq Khan

Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary: Douglas Alexander

Shadow Business Secretary: John Denham

Shadow Health Secretary: John Healey

Shadow Communities Secretary: Caroline Flint

Shadow Defence Secretary: Jim Murphy

Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary: Meg Hillier

Shadow Leader of the House of Commons: Hilary Benn

Shadow Transport Secretary: Maria Eagle

Shadow Environment Secretary: Mary Creagh

Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury: Angela Eagle

Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary: Shaun Woodward

Shadow Scottish Secretary: Ann McKechin

Shadow Welsh Secretary: Peter Hain

Shadow Culture Secretary: Ivan Lewis

Shadow Leader of the House of Lords: Baroness Jan Royall

Shadow Minister for the Olympics: Tessa Jowell

Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office: Liam Byrne

Lord Chief Whip: Lord Steve Bassam

Shadow Attorney-General: Baroness Scotland

Also attending:

Chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party: Tony Lloyd

Shadow Minister of State - Cabinet Office: Jon Trickett

 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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Four times Owen Smith has made sexist comments

The Labour MP for Pontypridd and Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour leadership rival has been accused of misogynist remarks. Again.

2016

Wanting to “smash” Theresa May “back on her heels”

During a speech at a campaign event, Owen Smith blithely deployed some aggressive imagery about attacking the new Prime Minister. In doing so, he included the tired sexist trope beloved of the right wing press about Theresa May’s shoes – her “kitten heels” have long been a fascination of certain tabloids:

“I’ll be honest with you, it pained me that we didn’t have the strength and the power and the vitality to smash her back on her heels and argue that these our values, these are our people, this is our language that they are seeking to steal.”

When called out on his comments by Sky’s Sophy Ridge, Smith doubled down:

“They love a bit of rhetoric, don’t they? We need a bit more robust rhetoric in our politics, I’m very much in favour of that. You’ll be getting that from me, and I absolutely stand by those comments. It’s rhetoric, of course. I don’t literally want to smash Theresa May back, just to be clear. I’m not advocating violence in any way, shape or form.”

Your mole dug around to see whether this is a common phrase, but all it could find was “set back on one’s heels”, which simply means to be shocked by something. Nothing to do with “smashing”, and anyway, Smith, or somebody on his team, should be aware that invoking May’s “heels” is lazy sexism at best, and calling on your party to “smash” a woman (particularly when you’ve been in trouble for comments about violence against women before – see below) is more than casual misogyny.

Arguing that misogyny in Labour didn’t exist before Jeremy Corbyn

Smith recently told BBC News that the party’s nastier side only appeared nine months ago:

“I think Jeremy should take a little more responsibility for what’s going on in the Labour party. After all, we didn’t have this sort of abuse and intolerance, misogyny, antisemitism in the Labour party before Jeremy Corbyn became the leader.”

Luckily for Smith, he had never experienced misogyny in his party until the moment it became politically useful to him… Or perhaps, not being the prime target, he simply wasn’t paying enough attention before then?

2015

Telling Leanne Wood she was only invited on TV because of her “gender”

Before a general election TV debate for ITV Wales last year, Smith was caught on camera telling the Plaid Cymru leader that she only appeared on Question Time because she is a woman:

Wood: “Have you ever done Question Time, Owen?”

Smith: “Nope, they keep putting you on instead.”

Wood: “I think with party balance there’d be other people they’d be putting on instead of you, wouldn’t they, rather than me?”

Smith: “I think it helps. I think your gender helps as well.”

Wood: “Yeah.”

2010

Comparing the Lib Dems’ experience of coalition to domestic violence

In a tasteless analogy, Smith wrote this for WalesHome in the first year of the Tory/Lib Dem coalition:

“The Lib Dem dowry of a maybe-referendum on AV [the alternative vote system] will seem neither adequate reward nor sufficient defence when the Tories confess their taste for domestic violence on our schools, hospitals and welfare provision.

“Surely, the Liberals will file for divorce as soon as the bruises start to show through the make-up?”

But never fear! He did eventually issue a non-apology for his offensive comments, with the classic use of “if”:

“I apologise if anyone has been offended by the metaphorical reference in this article, which I will now be editing. The reference was in a phrase describing today's Tory and Liberal cuts to domestic spending on schools and welfare as metaphorical ‘domestic violence’.”

***

A one-off sexist gaffe is bad enough in a wannabe future Labour leader. But your mole sniffs a worrying pattern in this list that suggests Smith doesn’t have a huge amount of respect for women, when it comes to political rhetoric at least. And it won’t do him any electoral favours either – it makes his condemnation of Corbynite nastiness ring rather hollow.

I'm a mole, innit.