Labour and government reshuffles: live updates

The news of who's up and who's down as David Cameron and Ed Miliband refresh their teams.

18:17pm With both reshuffles complete, we're going to end the live blog now. 

We'll be back in the morning with more comment and analysis as Labour announces further changes to its shadow ministerial team. 

18:05pm The wife of Robert Syms, who was sacked as a Conservative whip, has taken to Twitter to express her outrage.

17:58pm Downing Street has posted a full list of all ministeral appointments announced today here

17:16pm There's been much talk of how Maria Eagle's departure as shadow transport secretary (she is now shadow environment secretary) could pave the way for a Labour U-turn over High Speed 2. But during this afternoon's reshuffle briefing, the party's spokesman emphasised that Mary Creagh is a "supporter of HS2" and that "there is no change in the party's position".

17:07pm You can view the new shadow cabinet in full here. Another change worth noting is that Wayne David has become PPS to Miliband, joining Karen Buck. That means the well-regarded Jonathan Reynolds, who has served as PPS to Miliband since 2011, can expect a promotion in tomorrow's junior-level reshuffle. 

16:51pm The Tories have responded to Labour's reshuffle by declaring that Len McCluskey has got his "dream team", a reference to my interview with him in which he famously called for Douglas Alexander, Liam Byrne and Jim Murphy ("the Blairites") to be ignored or sacked. 

But while Byrne has lost his post as shadow work and pensions secretary (he remains on the frontbench as higher education spokesman) and Murphy has been demoted to shadow international development spokesman (from shadow defence), this reshuffle is far from a lurch to the left. 

Tristram Hunt (shadow education) and Gloria De Piero (shadow women and equalities), two "Blairite" figures, have both received major promotions, while Douglas Alexander, one of those singled out by McCluskey, has been appointed chair of general election strategy. In addition, Lord Falconer, a former cabinet minister under Tony Blair, will advise Miliband on "planning and transition" into government. 

By any measure, this was not a "purge of the Blairites". 

16:30pm Ed Miliband has now completed his shadow cabinet reshuffle. Here are all the details: 

- Douglas Alexander has been named as chair of general election strategy and planning. He remains shadow foreign secretary. 

- Spencer Livermore, Gordon Brown's former director of strategy, has been appointed general election campaign director. 

- Lord Falconer, who served as Lord Chancellor under Tony Blair, will advise Miliband on "planning and transition" into government. 

- Tristram Hunt has been named shadow education secretary. He replaces Stephen Twigg, who becomes shadow minister of state for justice. 

- Rachel Reeves is now shadow work and pensions secretary. She replaces Liam Byrne, who becomes Labour's higher education spokesman. 

- Chris Leslie, the current shadow financial secretary to the Treasury, replaces Reeves as shadow chief secretary. 

- Vernon Coaker is the new shadow defence secretary. He replaces Jim Murphy, who is now shadow international development secretary.

- Ivan Lewis, the current shadow international development secretary, replaces Coaker as shadow Northern Ireland secretary. 

- Gloria De Piero has been promoted to shadow minister for women and equalities. 

- Emma Reynolds has been promoted from shadow Europe minister to shadow housing minister (attending shadow cabinet). 

- Maria Eagle is now shadow environment secretary and has been replaced as shadow transport secretary by Mary Creagh. 

- Michael Dugher has been promoted from minister without portfolio to shadow Cabinet Office minister. He retains responsibility for political and campaign communications. 

- A Labour spokesman told The Staggers that the reshuffle had focused on "rewarding some of our most talented women and younger MPs."

- After the changes, 44% of the shadow cabinet are women (up from 40%) and 31% were elected in 2010.

- Further frontbench appointments will be announced tomorrow, with those who have been overlooked today, such as Stella Creasy, in line for new posts. 

15:49pm After months of Conservative attacks against Andy Burnham over his record as health secretary, some commentators have advised Miliband to move Burnham to neutralise the Tories' offensive. But the BBC is reporting that he will remain in post; that will go down well with Labour MPs and party members among whom he is one of the most popular shadow cabinet members. 

15:42pm As I reported earlier, Liam Byrne has lost his job as shadow work and pensions secretary but it's just emerged that he will remain on the front-bench as higher education spokesman. 

15:41pm After the demotion of Jim Murphy (see 14:48pm) and the sacking of Liam Byrne and Stephen Twigg, the Tories are seeking to frame Labour's reshuffle as "anti-Blairite". But the confirmation that Tristram Hunt, one of the "Blairites for Ed", has been appointed as shadow eduation secretary, will make that task a little harder. 

15:34pm Elsewhere on The Staggers, our resident Scottish nationalist James Maxwell has written on why Michael Moore's departure as Scottish Secretary could weaken the No side. He argues: 

Moore’s sacking is a classic Westminster misreading of the Scottish situation. London is obsessed with the idea that a big hitter” is needed to "take on" Salmond. Yet quite apart from the fact that Carmichael is hardly a "big hitter", the First Minister relishes (and has a habit of winning) confrontations that allow him to pit plucky, populist Holyrood against the big, clunking fist of Whitehall. Moore was a formidable opponent because his measured, moderate unionism was difficult for the nationalists to deal with. For no good reason at all, the no campaign has just dumped one of its strongest cards.

15:10pm Michael Dugher, currently vice-chair, is to replace Jon Trickett as shadow Cabinet Office minister. He's also one of the candidates for the post of campaign co-ordinator, although that is expected to go to Douglas Alexander. 

15:08pm Liz Kendall, who is currently shadow care minister, has secured a high-ranking post, according to Raf. We're waiting to hear which one, but she has been in the running to replace Stephen Twigg at education. 

14:58pm Raf suggests Miliband's changes are aimed at giving the shadow cabinet the political cover to talk about public service reform.

14:48pm The Labour reshufle is now underway, with Jim Murphy reportedly demoted from shadow defence to shadow international development. 

Liam Byrne's departure is likely to be officially confirmed shortly; we expect him to be replaced as shadow work and pensions secretary by Rachel Reeves. 

As I noted earlier (see 10:45am), Len McCluskey told me in my interview with him earlier this year that he wanted Douglas Alexander, Murphy and Byrne to be ignored or sacked. While Murphy has been demoted and Byrne sacked, Alexander is expected to be named as Labour's new campaign co-ordinator. 

14:30pm Following Jeremy Browne's surprise sacking as Home Office minister (see 13:49pm), here's Nick Clegg's notably terse letter to him. 

More than three years into the coalition, we're still waiting for a defection, could Browne provide it? In his recent interview with Raf, he praised David Cameron for identifying "the big issue of our time" in the form of "the global race" and went on to laud the theme again in a piece for Coffee House. After previously attempting to woo David Laws, will the Tories be giving Browne a call? 

Dear Jeremy

I want to thank you for the key role  you have played in government over the past three years, first as Minister of State at the Foreign Office and latterly as Minister of State in the Home Office.

You have made a hugely valuable political contribution to the coalition over the past three years both as a highly able representative of the UK to other nations and more recently dealing with the many domestic challenges that face the Home Office.

It is always very difficult to move colleagues out of government but as you know, I have always been keen that we provide the opportunity for as many in our ranks as possible to contribute their skills to Ministerial office during this Parliament so that, just as the government has benefited from your contribution over the past three years, it can also gain from those of other colleagues in the remaining years of this parliament.

I am immensely grateful to you for your commitment and support over the past few years. You have made a major contribution to this historic coalition government and as one of the very few ministers who have served in two departments, I have no doubt there will be an opportunity for your experience to be deployed in government in the future.

Yours sincerely

Nick Clegg

14:20pm It's been another good reshuffle for the Osbornites, with the Chancellor's former chief of staff Matthew Hancock promoted to minister of state for skills and enterprise. Earlier today, Greg Hands, Osborne's former PPS, was named deputy chief whip and Sajid Javid, another former Osborne PPS, was promoted to Financial Secretary to the Treasury. 

13:59pm Jeremy Browne, who was dramatically sacked as Home Office minister (see 13:49pm), has been replaced by Norman Baker, who is currently at Transport. Given Baker's belief that David Kelly was murdered (outlined in his book The Strange Death of David Kelly) it's an appointment that will rise eyebrows among the Tories. 

13:54pm I noted earlier that some Lib Dems are disappointed that the party still lacks a single female cabinet minister, with Jo Swinson overlooked for Scottish Secretary, but Open Europe's Pawel Swidlicki has offered a possible explanation: she's due to go on maternity leave next year. 

13:49pm In the most surprising news of the day so far, Jeremy Browne, a close ideological ally of Clegg, has been sacked as home office minister. You can read Raf's recent interview with him, in which he attacked Labour and praised David Cameron, here

13:38pm While David Cameron is using his reshuffle to promote Tory women, after today's changes, the Lib Dems are still without a single female cabinet minister.

Jo Swinson has long been regarded as cabinet material but was snubbed in favour of party chief whip Alistair Carmichael, who replaced Michael Moore as Scottish Secretary this morning. After being challenged on this point by Lib Dem councillor Matthew Hulbert, party president Tim Farron replied: "I've argued that we should have them!" He added that he would "love to have Lynne [Featherstone] or Jo [Swinson] in the cabinet."

13:34pm Mark Prisk has been sacked as housing minister. With polls showing that the issue is rising in importance to voters, his replacement will be worth noting. 

13:31pm After Sajid Javid's promotion (see 12:46pm), Nicky Morgan has replaced him as Economic Secretary to the Treasury becoming the first woman in what was previously an all-male line up. 

12:53pm Rachel Reeves, who has long been in line for a promotion, has just been spotted heading towards Ed Miliband's office. We're tipping her to replace Liam Byrne as shadow work and pensions secretary. 

12:46pm The much-praised Sajid Javid has been promoted to Financial Secretary to the Treasury after serving for a year as Economic Secretary. Widely amired for his energy and intellect (he became a vice president at Chase Manhattan at 25), he is likely to be in the cabinet before the election. 

12:38pm Esther McVey, who is currently minister for disabled people, has been appointed employment minister. With the Tories briefing that Cameron is looking to give more prominence to women and northerners, she was always a safe bet for a promotion. 

12:02pm Richard Benyon, who is, among other things, Britain's wealthiest MP, has stepped down as parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

12:01pm Tim Farron, a reliably amusing tweeter (who I interviewed last month), has greeted Foster's appointment.

11:49am Lib Dem Don Foster, currently at the Department for Communities and Local Government, has replaced Alistair Carmichael as the party's chief whip.

Earlier this morning, it was announced that Carmichael had replaced Michael Moore as Scottish Secretary. 

11:37am Among the appointments Ed Miliband is likely to announce today is that of campaign co-ordinator, the post Tom Watson resigned from in July. I listed the runners and riders at the time, including Douglas Alexander, Michael Dugher and Sadiq Khan. 

Our sources suggest that Alexander, who ran the 2010 general election campaign and is widely admired for his intellect and strategic nous, is most likely to get the nod. 

11:25am Maria Eagle has lost her post as shadow transport secretary, a move that could pave the way for a Labour U-turn over High Speed 2. 

Eagle has been a champion of the project and notably reaffirmed Labour's support for it in her conference speech after Ed Balls questioned whether it was "the best way to spend £50bn for the future of our country".

Some in Labour would like to transfer funds from HS2 to more electorally popular projects such as a mass housebuilding programme. As Balls has recognised (he remarked at a fringe meeting that the money could be used for "building new homes or new schools or new hospitals"), the move would allow Labour to differentiate itself from the Tories while remaining within George Osborne's fiscal envelope. Eagle's departure has removed one of the obstacles to doing so. 

10:45am As Miliband reshuffles the shadow cabinet, expect the Tories to be watching the fate of "the Blairites" closely. In his famous interview with me earlier this year, Len McCluskey suggested that Douglas Alexander, Jim Murphy and Liam Byrne (who he dubbed "the Blairites") should be ignored or sacked. 

The Unite general secretary said of Byrne: 

Byrne certainly doesn’t reflect the views of my members and of our union’s policy. I think some of the terminology that he uses is regrettable and I think it will damage Labour. Ed’s got to figure out what his team will be.

And of Alexander and Murphy:

If he gets seduced by the Jim Murphys and the Douglas Alexanders, then the truth is that he’ll be defeated and he’ll be cast into the dustbin of history.

As I've previously reported, Byrne, currently shadow work and pensions secretary, is likely to be replaced by Rachel Reeves. If other "Blarite" figures, such as Stephen Twigg and Jim Murphy, are also axed, expect the Tories to brand this "Len's reshuffle". 

Reeves is likely to be replaced as shadow chief secretary to the Treasury by Chris Leslie, the current shadow financial secretary to the Treasury, who covered for her while she was on maternity leave over the summer. 

10:30am After months of speculation, all three party leaders are reshuffling their teams today. We'll be bringing you live updates as they do. 

The first casualty of the day was Lib Dem Scottish Secretary Michael Moore, who was sacked by Nick Clegg and replaced by Lib Dem chief whip Alistair Carmichael. You can read Clegg's letter to Moore and Moore's response here. No further cabinet-level changes will take place. 

Ahead of David Cameron's reshuffle of junior ministers, deputy chief whip John Randall and Cabinet Office minister Chloe Smith resigned from their positions last night. 

On the Labour side, shadow justice minister Rob Flello and shadow minister for disabled people Anne Maguire have stood down in advance of Miliband's changes to his team.

David Cameron and Ed Miliband walk through the Members' Lobby to listen to the Queen's Speech at the State Opening of Parliament on May 8, 2013. Photograph: Getty Images.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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David Osland: “Corbyn is actually Labour’s only chance”

The veteran Labour activist on the release of his new pamphlet, How to Select or Reselect Your MP, which lays out the current Labour party rules for reselecting an MP.

Veteran left-wing Labour activist David Osland, a member of the national committee of the Labour Representation Committee and a former news editor of left magazine Tribune, has written a pamphlet intended for Labour members, explaining how the process of selecting Labour MPs works.

Published by Spokesman Books next week (advance copies are available at Nottingham’s Five Leaves bookshop), the short guide, entitled “How to Select or Reselect Your MP”, is entertaining and well-written, and its introduction, which goes into reasoning for selecting a new MP and some strategy, as well as its historical appendix, make it interesting reading even for those who are not members of the Labour party. Although I am a constituency Labour party secretary (writing here in an expressly personal capacity), I am still learning the Party’s complex rulebook; I passed this new guide to a local rules-boffin member, who is an avowed Owen Smith supporter, to evaluate whether its description of procedures is accurate. “It’s actually quite a useful pamphlet,” he said, although he had a few minor quibbles.

Osland, who calls himself a “strong, but not uncritical” Corbyn supporter, carefully admonishes readers not to embark on a campaign of mass deselections, but to get involved and active in their local branches, and to think carefully about Labour’s election fortunes; safe seats might be better candidates for a reselection campaign than Labour marginals. After a weak performance by Owen Smith in last night’s Glasgow debate and a call for Jeremy Corbyn to toughen up against opponents by ex Norwich MP Ian Gibson, an old ally, this pamphlet – named after a 1981 work by ex-Tribune editor Chris Mullin, who would later go on to be a junior minister under Blai – seems incredibly timely.

I spoke to Osland on the telephone yesterday.

Why did you decide to put this pamphlet together now?

I think it’s certainly an idea that’s circulating in the Labour left, after the experience with Corbyn as leader, and the reaction of the right. It’s a debate that people have hinted at; people like Rhea Wolfson have said that we need to be having a conversation about it, and I’d like to kickstart that conversation here.

For me personally it’s been a lifelong fascination – I was politically formed in the early Eighties, when mandatory reselection was Bennite orthodoxy and I’ve never personally altered my belief in that. I accept that the situation has changed, so what the Labour left is calling for at the moment, so I see this as a sensible contribution to the debate.

I wonder why selection and reselection are such an important focus? One could ask, isn’t it better to meet with sitting MPs and see if one can persuade them?

I’m not calling for the “deselect this person, deselect that person” rhetoric that you sometimes see on Twitter; you shouldn’t deselect an MP purely because they disagree with Corbyn, in a fair-minded way, but it’s fair to ask what are guys who are found to be be beating their wives or crossing picket lines doing sitting as our MPs? Where Labour MPs publicly have threatened to leave the party, as some have been doing, perhaps they don’t value their Labour involvement.

So to you it’s very much not a broad tool, but a tool to be used a specific way, such as when an MP has engaged in misconduct?

I think you do have to take it case by case. It would be silly to deselect the lot, as some people argue.

In terms of bringing the party to the left, or reforming party democracy, what role do you think reselection plays?

It’s a basic matter of accountability, isn’t it? People are standing as Labour candidates – they should have the confidence and backing of their constituency parties.

Do you think what it means to be a Labour member has changed since Corbyn?

Of course the Labour party has changed in the past year, as anyone who was around in the Blair, Brown, Miliband era will tell you. It’s a completely transformed party.

Will there be a strong reaction to the release of this pamphlet from Corbyn’s opponents?

Because the main aim is to set out the rules as they stand, I don’t see how there can be – if you want to use the rules, this is how to go about it. I explicitly spelled out that it’s a level playing field – if your Corbyn supporting MP doesn’t meet the expectations of the constituency party, then she or he is just as subject to a challenge.

What do you think of the new spate of suspensions and exclusions of some people who have just joined the party, and of other people, including Ronnie Draper, the General Secretary of the Bakers’ Union, who have been around for many years?

It’s clear that the Labour party machinery is playing hardball in this election, right from the start, with the freeze date and in the way they set up the registered supporters scheme, with the £25 buy in – they’re doing everything they can to influence this election unfairly. Whether they will succeed is an open question – they will if they can get away with it.

I’ve been seeing comments on social media from people who seem quite disheartened on the Corbyn side, who feel that there’s a chance that Smith might win through a war of attrition.

Looks like a Corbyn win to me, but the gerrymandering is so extensive that a Smith win isn’t ruled out.

You’ve been in the party for quite a few years, do you think there are echoes of past events, like the push for Bennite candidates and the takeover from Foot by Kinnock?

I was around last time – it was dirty and nasty at times. Despite the narrative being put out by the Labour right that it was all about Militant bully boys and intimidation by the left, my experience as a young Bennite in Tower Hamlets Labour Party, a very old traditional right wing Labour party, the intimidation was going the other way. It was an ugly time – physical threats, people shaping up to each other at meetings. It was nasty. Its nasty in a different way now, in a social media way. Can you compare the two? Some foul things happened in that time – perhaps worse in terms of physical intimidation – but you didn’t have the social media.

There are people who say the Labour Party is poised for a split – here in Plymouth (where we don’t have a Labour MP), I’m seeing comments from both sides that emphasise that after this leadership election we need to unite to fight the Tories. What do you think will happen?

I really hope a split can be avoided, but we’re a long way down the road towards a split. The sheer extent of the bad blood – the fact that the right have been openly talking about it – a number of newspaper articles about them lining up backing from wealthy donors, operating separately as a parliamentary group, then they pretend that butter wouldn’t melt in their mouths, and that they’re not talking about a split. Of course they are. Can we stop the kamikazes from doing what they’re plotting to do? I don’t know, I hope so.

How would we stop them?

We can’t, can we? If they have the financial backing, if they lose this leadership contest, there’s no doubt that some will try. I’m old enough to remember the launch of the SDP, let’s not rule it out happening again.

We’ve talked mostly about the membership. But is Corbynism a strategy to win elections?

With the new electoral registration rules already introduced, the coming boundary changes, and the loss of Scotland thanks to decades of New Labour neglect, it will be uphill struggle for Labour to win in 2020 or whenever the next election is, under any leadership.

I still think Corbyn is Labour’s best chance. Any form of continuity leadership from the past would see the Midlands and north fall to Ukip in the same way Scotland fell to the SNP. Corbyn is actually Labour’s only chance.

Margaret Corvid is a writer, activist and professional dominatrix living in the south west.