There’s plenty of speculation this morning over a possible government reshuffle next week (on the Tory side at least), and so inevitably rumours started circulating that Ed Miliband might follow suit. But having spoken to a source close to Miliband this morning I can confirm that is categorically not the case. There may well be a reshuffle of the Labour ranks in the coming months (we’ve been talking about one since February) but it certainly won’t be before parliament shuts down for the summer next week.
It’s no secret that some in the Shadow Cabinet are already looking over their shoulders though in anticipation of Miliband’s axe. But who might replace them? I suggested five wise heads who could do a job in the Shadow Cabinet recently, but just days later the party briefed that there would be no return for the greybeards. Similarly, I recommended five women from the 2010 intake who could make it into the Shadow Cabinet – but there was no similar briefing here. So perhaps these five women are potential Shadow Cabinet recruits.
It’s imperative that their is a reshuffle at some point though. As I wrote a few months ago:
Rumours have circulated in recent weeks that numerous members of the Shadow Cabinet have been told that they need to “up their game” in the coming months if they want to stay in the Shadow Cabinet ahead of the General Election. Critics cite “a lack of intellectual ambition” from many of Labour’s shadow ministerial team, and some within the leader’s office are thought to be frustrated that Miliband is “his own outrider”, with few Shadow Cabinet members willing – or able – to make the major pushes either intellectually or in terms of campaigning that might help flesh out what a Labour government might look like.
Certainly Ed Miliband won’t be able to carry an entire General Election campaign on his own, and with many of Labour’s “big beasts” either leaving parliament or heading for the backbenches in 2010, there is certainly a need for some of the less well known / more anonymous Shadow Cabinet members to raise their profile if they are to play a significant role between now and 2015.
Miliband’s axe is sharpened – but it won’t come down on anyone until September at the earliest…