Ed Miliband's Mandelson

Stewart Wood is named a Labour peer and will become shadow minister without portfolio.

Of the new Labour peers, the two that stand out are Stewart Wood, the former Oxford don who currently who serves as Ed Miliband's chief strategist and Maurice Glasman, one of the leaders of London Citizens and the father of "Blue Labour".

Wood, in particular, will take on an expanded and more visible role within the party. He will now attend shadow cabinet and will act as shadow minister without portfolio, shadowing Sayeeda Warsi. Wood, who previously served as Gordon Brown's foreign affairs adviser, is also expected to work closely with Cabinet Office minister Liam Byrne on Labour's policy review. Labour List's Mark Ferguson reports that he will lead Miliband's "intellectual work and the development of his long-term political agenda." The size and scope of Wood's responsibilities will see him take on an almost Mandelson-like role as Miliband's chief consigliere.

One could see it as a reward for the years in which he endured Gordon Brown's temper tantrums.

Below is a full list of the new Labour peers.

* Dame Joan Bakewell DBE - writer and broadcaster
* Ray Collins - General Secretary of the Labour Party
* Maurice Glasman - Senior Lecturer in political theory at London Metropolitan University and for his work with London Citizens
* Jonathan Kestenbaum - businessman and Chief Executive of National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts
* Oona King - Head of Diversity at Channel 4 Television and former Labour MP; currently journalist and presenter
* Ruth Lister - Emeritus Professor of Social Policy at Loughbrough University
* Eluned Morgan - former Labour MEP representing Mid and West Wales; currently Honorary Distinguished Professor at Cardiff University and for her work on low carbon energy
* Sir Gulam Noon MBE - Chairman and Founder of Noon Products and of the Noon Foundation
* Stewart Wood - former Downing Street and HMT special adviser, lecturer at University of Oxford; previously Fellow of Magdalen College and co-founder of Nexus
* Bryony Worthington - career focusing on promoting environmental and social change

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

Getty
Show Hide image

Will anyone sing for the Brexiters?

The five acts booked to perform at pro-Brexit music festival Bpoplive are down to one.

Do Brexiters like music too? If the lineup of Bpoplive (or more accurately: “Brexit Live presents: Bpop Live”) is anything to go by, the answer is no. Ok, former lineup.

The anti-Europe rally-cum-music festival has already been postponed once, after the drum and bass duo Sigma cancelled saying they “weren’t told Bpoplive was a political event”.

But then earlier this week the party was back on, set for Sunday 19th June, 4 days before the referendum, and a week before Glastonbury, saving music lovers a difficult dilemma. The new lineup had just 5 acts: the 90s boybands East17 and 5ive, Alesha Dixon of Britain’s Got Talent and Strictly Come Dancing fame, family act Sister Sledge and Gwen Dickey of Rose Royce.

Unfortunately for those who have already shelled out £23 for a ticket, that 5 is now down to 1. First to pull out were 5ive, who told the Mirror that “as a band [they] have no political allegiances or opinions for either side.” Instead, they said, their “allegiance is first and foremost to their fans”. All 4our of them.

Next to drop was Alesha Dixon, whose spokesperson said that that she decided to withdraw when it became clear that the event was to be “more of a political rally with entertainment included” than “a multi-artist pop concert in a fantastic venue in the heart of the UK”. Some reports suggested she was wary of sharing a platform with Nigel Farage, though she has no qualms about sitting behind a big desk with Simon Cowell

A spokesperson for Sister Sledge then told Political Scrapbook that they had left the Brexit family too, swiftly followed by East 17 who decided not to stay another day.

So, it’s down to Gwen Dickey.

Dickey seems as yet disinclined to exit the Brexit stage, telling the Mirror: "I am not allowed to get into political matters in this lovely country and vote. It is not allowed as a American citizen living here. I have enough going on in my head and heart regarding matters in my own country at this time. Who will be the next President of the USA is of greater concern to me and for you?"

With the event in flux, it doesn’t look like the tickets are selling quickly.

In February, as David Cameron’s EU renegotiation floundered, the Daily Mail ran a front-page editorial asking “Who will speak for England?” Watch out for tomorrow’s update: “Who will sing for the Brexiters?”

I'm a mole, innit.