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What is your reaction to Labour's shadow cabinet?

17:27 UK time, Thursday, 20 January 2011

Alan Johnson has stepped down as shadow chancellor, citing "personal issues". What do you think will be the impact of the reshuffle on Ed Miliband's shadow cabinet?

Alan Johnson is replaced by Ed Balls, previously the shadow home secretary. Mr Balls' wife, Yvette Cooper, takes over the home affairs brief.

As Mr Miliband reshuffles his frontbench team, Douglas Alexander becomes shadow foreign secretary and Liam Byrne is made employment spokesman.

What do you think will be the impact of the reshuffle on Ed Miliband's shadow cabinet? Do you think Ed Balls is the right person to replace Alan Johnson as shadow chancellor? What about the other moves in the shadow cabinet?

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.


Page 1 of 9

  • Comment number 1.

    The man who along with Gordon Brown was responsible for slack regulation of the banks and the Government overspend is back!

    Good news for the coalition.

  • Comment number 2.

    I wonder if it is because of a certain Sunday Newspaper????

  • Comment number 3.

    He was PUSHED...

    No doubt about it.

  • Comment number 4.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 5.

    Who cares? Out with the old in with some new blood and modern ideas.

  • Comment number 6.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 7.

    I'd prefer fewer "career politicians" in both government and opposition.

    This perennial "we know what is good for you" attitude, coupled with absolutely no experience of the real world has got us into a real mess over the last few years.

    ... and this includes governments of all colours.

  • Comment number 8.

    Oh dear,the cracks within UniteLabour are appearing already.

    I wonder what the odds of leadership change by the end of the year will be at the bookies.

  • Comment number 9.

    I'm not surprised really. Ed Milliband set up Alan Johnson in the same way Harold Wilson set up George Brown in the 1960s.
    By setting up your rival in a post that they are unsuitable for and is bound fail, they lose all credibility. So the chances of Alan Johnson ever becoming leader of the Labour Party in zero. Smart move Ed.

  • Comment number 10.

    To be honest we all know that personal issues is an excuse for being forced out of a high profile post. Miliband had to support him and say he was doing a good job otherwise it would of highlighted to a larger extent the splits in the party and between the two on policy matters.

    Miliband also couldn't remove him earlier as it would of looked to obvious that he was removing him for 'gafs' especially the national insurance one.

    What I find intresting is how the bbc is instantly saying that it is to personal issues and are still not sceptical about anything any political party says!

  • Comment number 11.

    Wrong man for the job. From the moment he took the job on he was out of his depth although, to be fair, Alan Johnson would be out of his depth in a paddling pool.

    So now they have Ed Balls; this is one situation where two Eds are definitely not better than one, but Ed M wasn't exactly spoilt for choice. He just chose the least worst.

  • Comment number 12.

    Alan Johnson is probably an excellent MP, but he was out of his depth in this cabinet role.

    This did not just reflect upon him - it reflects upon Ed Miliband's choice.

  • Comment number 13.

    Has the complexity of such a massive role hit home? Gordon Brown himself once said "It's no time for a novice".

  • Comment number 14.

    So Gobbylegook has gone no short change there, but we have fatty mouthy back, I thought Mr Ed was avoiding confrontation with the old brigade. I think his position is now untenable now as bleeder..the writing is on the wall yakky dah

  • Comment number 15.

    Johnson could never have fiddled the figures, because he didn't know them!

  • Comment number 16.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 17.

    What do you think will be the impact of the reshuffle on Ed Miliband's shadow cabinet? The choice of Alan Johnson was obviously wrong as I stated at the time (told you so). The new choice of Ed Balls will equally be wrong because he is most associated with the last Labour govt, given all the revelations that have come out and are still coming out.
    What do you think will be the impact of the reshuffle on Ed Miliband's shadow cabinet? Don't know but what I know for sure and for certain is that I will never again in my lifetime vote for a One Party Majority. I want a coalition of individuals that have great intellect and integrity from all the parties to lead a nation that is diverse and inclusive.
    Do you think Ed Balls is the right person to replace Alan Johnson as shadow chancellor? No, I don't think so because he was part of the last Labour govt.
    What about the other moves in the shadow cabinet? Who knows? We have a population of 60 million people and are we being told that parties are finding it difficult to engage talent. If they are, they should ask themselves the questions why? It is obvious that they have disappointed many and citizens have lost faith in politicians' delivering progressive politics & results for society.

  • Comment number 18.

    Alan Johnson was a very decent man who will be missed as a senior parliamentarian and someone who was not a career politician. Perhaps shadow chancellor was a step too far. But Ed Balls as shadow chancellor; oh dear. Why not bring back Brown, it could not be any worse. I suppose Ed Balls has one thing going for him. His name, with the addition of a short preposition, is a permanent reminder of what the last labour government did to the economy.

    Red Ed and the Brown clone - not a very good recipe for re-election.

  • Comment number 19.

    well its a start if we can only get the rest of them to resign until we can organise a more democratic voting system.

  • Comment number 20.

    Only a few months in and Miliband has to make extensive changes to his shadow cabinet. Things do not seem to be going very well for Ed,but there seems to have been one or two errors of judgement along the way...I ask you... appointing 'a shadow chancellor who did not seem to have much of a grip on economics'! A great start,Ed! And now you are stuck with the one thing you really feared,Ed Balls,who will spend his time undermining you from within,a la Brown.....

  • Comment number 21.

    Toodlepip Mr Johnson. What WILL be interesting, is hearing Balls being bounced off Parliamentary walls in forthcoming questions he'll have to answer about Labour's systematic destruction of the UK during his party's irresponsible spends while in (mis)government. And I thought pantomime season was over!

  • Comment number 22.

    The "mathematical" flaws in the governments cuts policy are starting to become more and more evident. An example is the news about the mother of the disabled child in Bristol who as been denied support

    The fact is that the opportunities for cuts has been vastly over estimated. Cuts in one area often means more expenditure elsewhere. I expect at least another round of significant tax increases before this crisis is over.

    If Mr Balls pays his cards right, He will take full political advantage of this

  • Comment number 23.

    Well done !!!! maybe a bit of backbone.

    I noticed that Ed Millithing was NOT wearing his "Prefect" or "Pencil Monitor" badges.

    I won't go into an essay, but this country needs someone with charisma, energy, enthusiasm and real personality to be taken seriously.
    Not one that spends every moment slaging of the last lot.

    Fundamental changes are needed.

    I want to call for the people to be asked, if you think your local MP listens to you, you are deluded.

    Find a way to "sit in" the commons.
    We need "V" more than ever.
    Hate to say it but, general strike.
    Use the tech on "The Jeremy Kyle Show" and attach lie detectors to every MP who turns up everyday.
    I personally would attach electrodes to sensitive parts, but that may be a step to far.

    But they only have themselves to blame. Do YOU believe a word they say ?

  • Comment number 24.

    Alan who?

  • Comment number 25.

    I listened to Ed Balls today. All the mannerisms suggest a seriously flawed character and someone who does not accept his responsibility for what has gone before. With luck he will over-reach himself because he has no self-awareness. He tries too hard which is always a dangerous sign in power positions.

  • Comment number 26.

    to No 5, new blood, are you joking. These people are all part of the previous discredited administation which brought the country to the brink of disaster.

  • Comment number 27.

    He wasn't really the right man for the job, with a lack of experience in economics.

  • Comment number 28.

    Ed Balls mentioned 'Look!' 6 times. Sign of insecurity and the need to bully arguments through.

  • Comment number 29.

    Good! now Mr 15% Base rates Cameron and sidekick will get the kicking they deserve.

  • Comment number 30.

    A pity. He was one of the few real people left in politics who are gradually being replaced by interchangeable clones.

  • Comment number 31.


    Miliband appointed Johnson because he didn't want to give too much power to his biggest threat, Balls.

    Upon reflection appointing a union convenor and part time postman as shadow chancellor has not worked out for him. Now he has to appoint Balls anyway and looks diminished as a result.

    The task for Balls is to convince enough people, that the cause of a problem is also its solution! Balls is a deficit denier; he didn’t want to admit mistakes while in office and he doesn’t want to accept that problems exist now! This is a man who thinks that Britain can borrow forever. All of which is hardly surprising, considering that HE was the chief architect of Labour’s economic policy!

  • Comment number 32.

    Should we think or feel anything when bad rubbish is gone?

  • Comment number 33.

    Perhaps the truth will come out one day?

  • Comment number 34.

    Dumb Dumb and Dumber.
    The Labour Party have lost it completely.
    Rats leaving the sinking ship comes to mind.

  • Comment number 35.

    I was driving home when I heard the news - the BBC should warn drivers before such news - Ed Balls-up as Chancellor - I laughed so much I nearly drove off the road! He is a complete idiot - you just need to see the dogs dinner he made of the education system!

    The real telling point - NewLieMore's beloved BBC, referred to him as Brownite - just look at the staggering mess Gormless Gordon left - just think we could be bankrupted twice!

  • Comment number 36.

    Smacks of a cover up me thinks ; the political circus rolls into town again

  • Comment number 37.

    Usual barrage of brainless tory tosh.

    12 13 17 : Agreed, Johnson is out of his depth - in fact, very much like GO.
    We need someone with the strength and intellect to deal with massive issues like the vital and radical reform of the banking system (anyone see Peston's program?).This tory tot is barely up to the task of being a church treasurer - get rid now!

  • Comment number 38.

    Reading the worms of AJ's letter and Mr Ed's response, AJ got the message, resign or Ill confirm Ive sacked you, its as simple as that.

  • Comment number 39.

    Great news. The opposition now get someone who will put some fight into the economic arguments. Balls is the man Cameron, Osborne and Danny know-nowt really fear. You only need to look at the responses from "the usual suspects" on this thread to understand that. Even the BBCs political editor sounded crestfallen and uncertain from knowing that the easy ride the Conservatives have had up to now will change.

  • Comment number 40.

    Johnson was only put there by Milliband so he could claim he wasn't just carrying on with Browns policies. It's a shame that Johnson seems to have been promoted above his skill and now Milliband has had to kick him out for incompetence.

    As for Balls, he a far left activist who has now go the number 2 job in the Labour party. Ah. Remember those halcyon day when the militant tendency was at the top. Well with Balls, the fight back begins. He is a dangerous man and should not be underestimated. If anyone needed an excuse not to vote labour, Ed Balls is it.

  • Comment number 41.

    I'm very sorry to be unfashionable but having spent 10 years away from GB, I returned last year to find a revitalised Capital with an NHS that was at least trying to live up to its European neighbours' standards and new school buildings - unthinkable when I left in the 90's. A lot of the spending was necessary because of 20 years of rolling back the state under the Tories, and the rest was to bail out banks and this is what put us into higher levels of deficit from 2009. Before that our deficit, whilst high, was manageable when taken as a percentage of the GDP. It's the banks that did for us, not the Labour Party - and it's easy to say one allowed the other, but in realpolitik I doubt the choices are that black and white. The bunch in now are like something out of Dickens and it's a complete joke. How can they moan about the Students march when most of the cabinet did the same thing in the Bullingdon Club?!

  • Comment number 42.

    So the old team are gradually being wheeled back in. Balls along with Miliband were partly responsible for the mess we find ourselves in and neither will admit they got it wrong or would do it any different next time. We are in a hole and somehow the opposition are irrelevant.

  • Comment number 43.

    i hate to say it..Wallace & Grumitt....
    Ed's mouth movements..dont look natural,,,,

  • Comment number 44.

    What is your reaction to Alan Johnson's resignation?
    The acceptable face of Labour resigns.
    Who do we get in his place?
    One of the orchestrators of this Countrys economic downfall.
    Balls by name Balls by nature!

  • Comment number 45.

    It was a big mistake by Ed Miliband to appoint Johnson as Shadow Chancellor in the first place. Ed Miliband is now seriously damaged - bad judgement etc to go with his label of being a union man. The Tories must be laughing themselves silly tonight.The Balls and Cooper double act is truly nauseating and an unwelcome reminder of old Labour. Ed Miliband has gone public once too often criticising the past performance of Labour. Ed Balls was at the very heart of the Labour government and it has been well reported that Brown was not all pleased with Ed Miliband`s take on his performance, both as PM and as Chancellor. The trouble with a wounded animal is that they can suddenly lash out and if I was Ed Miliband I would be feeling rather insecure about my future. Especially if Tony Blair now spies a chance to to get even as well. If Ed Miliband makes it as far as the next party conference he will have done well.

  • Comment number 46.

    His financial experience is pretty much on a par with Osbourne and Cameron. What Cameron is very good at however is PR - I'm amazed at how many people have bought the Tory party line on the deficit and are repeating it like parrots. The Labour failure was in not putting a break on the banksters, but how many countries in the world actually did?

  • Comment number 47.

    Another lurch to the left with a main player in the financial mess left to the coalition to sort out. It was said Johnson knew little of economics. This may be true. Perhaps he could have developed over time but the new incumbent has proved decisively that he has no idea how to use his abacus. What a Ba**s up!!!!!

  • Comment number 48.

    Sad for Alan Johnson who is a very good politician though I never thought he was right for the role of shadow Chancelor, but great for the Labour party as now the man who should have been the shadow chancelor all along is there to tear the completely incompetent usless present chancelor boy George Osbourne to pieces.

    This is a complete no contest, a man against an infant as far as competence is concerned. Every thing that Osbourne has done upto now has been a disaster and has set our country back decades this is the man who in 2009 said we should be following the Irish example of how to do business (there's good judgement for you) now at last we'll have a shadow chancelor who will show the incompetent daddie made millionaire up to be the no hoper he really is.

  • Comment number 49.

    I do not work in the public sector and I am not receiving welfare benefits, so, I do not care who replaces who in the Labour Party. As far as I am concerned, as a taxpayer, the Labour leadership should be locked up and the key thrown away for running up the biggest government debt in history and for flooding the country with immigrants to make a multicultural society.

  • Comment number 50.

    Good riddance. Another Zanu Labour member bites the dust. Sadly, he's being replaced by an even bigger disaster.

    People ought to remember that he was in government during Zanu Labour's 13-year reign of terror which left our country bankrupt, a generation of youngsters who can barely read and write, record levels of teenage pregnancies, record levels of STIs in youngsters, more stealth taxes than any previous government, rights for criminals put above the rights of victims, uncontrolled immigration and illegal wars that made the leadership of the Labour party multi-millionaires.

  • Comment number 51.

    2. At 5:52pm on 20 Jan 2011, Mick Hodd wrote:
    I wonder if it is because of a certain Sunday Newspaper????

    Its because of people like you who read them.

  • Comment number 52.

    What's Johnston been up to then ? Maybe the Sunday papers will spill the beans. Meanwhile the new shadow chancellor is Brown's attack dog Balls. If he's as effective in opposition as he was in government, the Labour party will be banktrupt pretty soon, and Labour economic policy will change again though Ed ( Milliband ) will deny that it has.

  • Comment number 53.

    Alan Johnson is a really good guy but was assigned to a major post in which he had no expertise - by his own admission - and in which he was failing. He knew it and we knew it.
    The management of the economy is a key issue and fundamental to all our futures and Alan Johnson was patently failing to rise to the challenges - and was close to becoming a laughing stock in the Commons.

    Miliband appointed him in a vain attempt to try to keep Balls out of the Treasury - primarily because he had been a key ally of Gordon Brown and therefore tainted with Brown's failure - although Brown's failure was more evident in areas well outside the economy.

    Balls is now where he belongs and i believe he will do a good job.
    He is highly competent and he will be noticed.

    I feel sorry for Alan Johnson, because the last few months must have been hell for a decent man.
    I am sorry if he really did resign predominantly for personal reasons -although this may give him a chance of continued high office ,although i doubt whether he wants it.

    Let's face it , Alan Johnson was out of his depth and forced into the job by Miliband to protect Miliband
    By contrast Balls is head and shoulders out of the water and if anyone can sort out the intolerable Osborne and provide some alternative to the present , disastrous economic policy , it will be him.

    Good luck Alan Johnson. You are a nice guy.
    Sock it to 'em Balls.

  • Comment number 54.

    I have only ever seen him on TV or listened to him on the radio, but my impression of Alan Johnson was that he is a charming chancer on the make who would adopt whatever line served his personal progression. Having failed as a rock star, politics was just the next thing to blag. His public face is one of a lot of blokey wit and jokey repartee, though never a glimmer of intellectual grasp of hard details.

    Over the years there have been many Labour politicians who lacked impressive formal education but were clearly extraordinarily clever and responsible in their use of the power their position gave them. Mr Johnson is a populist to his public support base and I suspect his views count for little amongst the intellectual hierarchy of the party.

    What amazes me is the portfolio he was given. Even the Shadow Chancellor of a G7 country should be more than basically numerate and be able to hold his own against treasury advisors in argument and debate. His appointment showed just how flaky Labour has become in that for expediency it thinks it can dumb down its side of the the most important area of policy to a level of 'Strictly come Economics'.

  • Comment number 55.

    "I ask you... appointing 'a shadow chancellor who did not seem to have much of a grip on economics'!"

    I think you'll find we've got a chanellor who is in the same boat. Osbourne is bumbling his way through with no real ideal of the consequences of his actions.

  • Comment number 56.

    Well I think Alan Johnson was a decent chap. The fact that he couldn't work out his figures meant that he couldn't fiddle his expenses. An honourable man. Jimmy

  • Comment number 57.

    Its good to have the lunatics back in charge of the asylum...

    Now we have established that actually Labour didn't overspend by billions and billions of pounds and didn't increase our debt to record levels why not have the people who didn't spend back so they can advise us on how not to spend spend spend again.

  • Comment number 58.

    Alan Johnson was a rare MP, one with apparent integrity.

    As for Ed Balls - well his name says it all. He was Gordon Brown's right hand man when the economy was slowing down and they did NOTHING to curb spending and the for the record, the UK budget deficit dates back to this (his) time.

    He's got a big mouth and some people think he's great. I do not share that view.

    If he is to make an impact he will have to say what Labour would do about the deficit and the economy - talking about cuts as if they are not necessary is simply not a tenable position. Saying the cuts are being done for "ideological" reasons is trash too. Countries shouldn't spend more than 50% of GDP on Public spending and under Gordon Brown and Ed Balls it rose to 53%.

    If all he does is criticise then he hasn't moved on.

  • Comment number 59.

    39. At 6:43pm on 20 Jan 2011, markmyword1949 wrote:
    Great news. The opposition now get someone who will put some fight into the economic arguments. Balls is the man Cameron, Osborne and Danny know-nowt really fear. You only need to look at the responses from "the usual suspects" on this thread to understand that. Even the BBCs political editor sounded crestfallen and uncertain from knowing that the easy ride the Conservatives have had up to now will change.


    Good job I'm not driving - I would have crashed the car from laughing....Balls is only feared by small rodents in southern Rhodesia. After all apparently he is an economist & worked closely with Gormless Gordon...there's all the evidence you need. It may have escaped Millipede's attention, but Gormless Gordon & Balls-up left the country bankrupt....and errrrrrrrr that's why such massive belt-tightening is necessary. Oh yes, the banks were able to inflict the damage they did...because they were under the watch of Gormless Gordon as chancellor & then PM & his beloved FSA.

  • Comment number 60.

    Does this mean there's now no-one left on the Shadow Front Bench who's ever had a proper job?

  • Comment number 61.

    Sundays Andrew Marr show now makes perfect sense, was Andrew Marr a collaborator or did Ed Milliband just play him?

  • Comment number 62.

    Alan Johnson, as previous Labour Home Secretaries, was responsible for massively eroding civil liberties of UK Citizens. In a televised pre election debate he defended adding a million innocent people to the national DNA data base, even though his government was convicted by the European Court of Human Rights for this practice in the case of S. and Marper against the UK Governemnt on December 4th, 2008.

    Like Brown he could'nt recall a single extra crime solved by stigmatizing a million innocent Britons in this way, but that did not stop him implicating that his LibDem opponent was soft on crime by advocating the Scottish model of erasing the profiles of innocent people.

  • Comment number 63.

    Anyone noticed what he said about red Ed in his letter?

    'You are proving to be a formidable Leader of the Labour Party and will take the party from strength to strength in the years to come'. He's gotta be kidding!

    I do feel he was pushed Alan Johnson seems he was never cut out to be a Shadow Chancellor.... Brown wanted Ed Balls as Chancellor but hadn't the guts to give Darling the push.

    I reckon Johnson would have been far better as leader than Ed Milliband.

  • Comment number 64.

    Removing Johnson is an act of kindness, he was way out of his depth from the time they coaxed him out of his comfort zone on the back benches. Replacing him with the aptly named Ed Balls is a bad mistake and one that Milliband will come to this space for a Blair -v- Brown re-run.

  • Comment number 65.

    When a Labour man has problems, he does not sit there till it gets worse. Johnson made the right decision. looking at the Con dem economic talent, its devoid of any. Alexander is doing what he is told to do by Cameron and Osborne. Ed Balls has years of economic experiance, both prior to getting to be an MP and in government. He will slaughter Osborne even in second gear. Fact that Balls was in Browns government is irrelevant. Many now seing that Osborne is carrying out the hench mans job of delivering ideological cuts. As more and more people feel the pinch, Labours cuts at a much slower pace will become more palatable. But Ed Balls will hit hard. Tories may try to blame the recession on Balls, but its a tactic begining to wear very thin. Just look at Cameron today trying to defend the cuts while trying to look caring to the mother with the disabled child. Its just got a whole lot worse for the Tories.

  • Comment number 66.

    Damn shame in my book i hope this is in lieu of a leadership challange.

  • Comment number 67.

    Labour as a political party has now definitely lost the plot and now, firmly up excreta creek without a paddle. *sings* # Good bye-ee, good bye-ee, wipe the tear baby dear from your eye-ee. For it's hard to part I know. I'll, be, tickled to death to go... roflmao

  • Comment number 68.

    38. At 6:40pm on 20 Jan 2011, Rays a Larf wrote:
    Reading the worms of AJ's letter and Mr Ed's response, AJ got the message, resign or Ill confirm Ive sacked you, its as simple as that.

    If you can read that into the exchange of letters, its probably pointless anyone writing to you - you would simply not understand.

  • Comment number 69.

    This is only an observation.He has made a few gaffs in interviews recently and lacks a certain confidence at times.He often gets muddled and looks uncomfortable at times when faced with questions.There will be a great deal of speculation about 'for personal reasons'.Is he experiencing cognitive problems?

  • Comment number 70.

    49. At 6:59pm on 20 Jan 2011, Dave wrote:
    "...I do not work in the public sector and I am not receiving welfare benefits, so, I do not care who replaces who in the Labour Party. As far as I am concerned, as a taxpayer, the Labour leadership should be locked up and the key thrown away for running up the biggest government debt in history and for flooding the country with immigrants to make a multicultural society..."
    I do not work in the public sector and I am not receiving welfare benefits either, but I very much care who replaces who in what may well relatively soon be the Government of my country.

    Can't be bothered to reply to the rest of your post.

  • Comment number 71.

    Alan Johnson was either set up or he agreed to take the job as a stop gap until E.M. could appoint Ed B. without upsetting the Labour Party voters who gave more votes to Evette C. than Ed B. at the conference when they had elections for the shadow cabinet. And lets not forget that Ev. C. is an economist as well and just as qualified as her husband to be shadow chancellor.
    Putting the 'Brown Faction' in all the top jobs is not going to help E.B.
    Has he forgotten that the voters rejected them less than 9 months ago.

  • Comment number 72.

    39. At 6:43pm on 20 Jan 2011, markmyword1949 wrote:
    Great news. The opposition now get someone who will put some fight into the economic arguments. Balls is the man Cameron, Osborne and Danny know-nowt really fear. You only need to look at the responses from "the usual suspects" on this thread to understand that. Even the BBCs political editor sounded crestfallen and uncertain from knowing that the easy ride the Conservatives have had up to now will change.

    Spot on. Adam Boulton is also leading the Sky dirt-digging by alluding to possible reasons for his departure.

    Whatever the real reason, it will be a change of style that Cameron will not appreciate. Osborne will find himself debating issues with a real economist and will not find it so comfortable.

  • Comment number 73.

    I hope he can still get a job as a postie - that's all he's good for.

  • Comment number 74.

    clearly sour grapes and a natural parting of minds!! maybe the liberals will ask him to join them?

  • Comment number 75.

    This was a silly appointment in the first place, it was new new labour's attempt at putting a popular old new labour MP in a high profile role. It was like old new labour's decision to keep John Prescott from old labour in the new labour cabinet even though new labour were trying to claim to be different to old labour but couldn't risk losing old labour supporter's votes by having a totally new labour team. What worked for old new labour hasn't worked for new new labour.

  • Comment number 76.

    sincere thank you to Mr Johnson for everything _ it WASN'T a mistake to appoint him to ANY post in government purely because of his honesty and his desire to do good for Britain's disadvantaged _ in this way he ande Ed Milliband were indeed a team and i am certain many will be silently wishing him All the Very Best
    but his replacement needs to recite this to himself in the mirror every morning before he starts work _ NEW LABOUR IS DEAD!
    and if he tries to revive it he may well end up with a new position on the board of Sunderland FC

  • Comment number 77.

    Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, who's next.....Ms Harman????

  • Comment number 78.

    It will take more than the swivelling eyed deficit denier to bring credibility to the other Mr Ed.

    A bit hard to understand why AJ was put in place in the first place. Seemed a nice chap though.

  • Comment number 79.

    A spectacular own goal for Ed Miliband given that George Osborne was very frustrated that he could not unleash his venom on the perpetrator who was responsible for the Gordon Brown's 'now proved to be dire' economic record, Ed Balls.

    Ed Balls has a record to be proud off, starting off in 1997 when he advised Gordon Brown to raid one of the best and robust pension schemes in the world. Following on from that,he continually pitted Gordon Brown against the then Prime Minister Tony Blair during his entire premiership before before promoted to the cabinet in 2007 when Brown became PM. Ed Balls had probably advised Gordon Brown to borrow in a boom and to pretend that the worst economic crisis in the entire history of this country was down to events beyond our shores.

    I can see the coalition government really going for the jugular on this one, especially David Cameron and George Osborne because they will not only highlight that Ed Balls was part of the economic failure but his boss Ed Miliband to making poor judgement to whom he appointed for the shaodw cabinet positions.

    Well done Ed Miliband, stick to being the joker in parliament!!

  • Comment number 80.

    Well, if Mr.Johnson (with his background) can be a future Chancellor of the Exchequer then the average person in the street must be well qualified to be a future PM.

    It is ridiculous that he was ever given the position as Shadow Chancellor. We need (ideally)the cream of the experts - PHD people for that job.

    I suppose we are limited by the expertise of those elected.

  • Comment number 81.

    The real question has to be "has he been strung up by the Balls" ?

  • Comment number 82.

    We all have reasons to leave our jobs most of us just get on with it.
    If we had the generos incomes and protected payouts all politicans get we would decide more easily.
    One person is not the world
    We see them come we see them go.
    Ask this question in 5 years will you, or me care who was Alan Jonhson.
    As their servants and paymasters we are fooled.
    Edd Balls and his loving wife now in job's 2 and 3!
    thank God i moved to Cyprus 7 years ago .

  • Comment number 83.

    Ed Milibands judgment has to be brought into question on so many counts.
    Alan Johnson had no economic experience, and it showed. At a time we we are in an economic mess the opposition should have filled the shadow Chancellor position with a big hitter not a novice - it shows contempt.

    If Ed Balls "is an outstanding economist and is hugely qualified to take our economic message to the country." why wasn't he made shadow Chancellor first. Or Yvette Cooper, another shadow minister with much treasury experience.

    Then again, Balls has a lot to apologise for; he played a large role in the Treasury during the last government and its failure to regulate the banks, claiming there would be no 'bust' and creating a structural deficit in the good times, even before the recession.

    Labour are still all over the place when it comes to the economy.

  • Comment number 84.

    I wish Ed Balls good luck in his new role.

    I hope he will tear the Tories apart, and expose them for the lieing cheats they are.

  • Comment number 85.

    labour deserve this guy
    didnt know hat the national insurance rate was ?
    a totally muppet
    now another labour yes man ,bring it on its too easy the man who bankrupted britain browns no 2 ed balls

    what a laugh pm questions will gets better and better !!!!

  • Comment number 86.

    It has not been made public why Alan Johnson has decided to resign as Shadow Chancellor. (Personally I feel sorry for the guy).

    I just love all the comments by people who havn't a clue. Why don't you wait and see what the reason is as it could be something very serious within his family. I'm sure you would all love to see the speculation if it were about you.

    I suggest folk button it until we learn more.

    Before I get slagged off I amdnot a Labour Supporter but I do live in Scotland so take what you like out of that.

  • Comment number 87.

    Its a real shame. He is one of the best in the cabinet. As a labour member, I didn't vote for Ed and probably won't vote labour with Ed Balls in a potential leadership position. Neither men are capable and i don't think Balls is stable.

  • Comment number 88.

    A shame for Johnson as he seemed a decent enough guy.
    What at first appears a better fit (Balls as shadow Chancellor) may not turn out that way.
    Balls is regarded as a tad poisonous even by many in his own party. Miliband will have to watch his back.
    Also, Balls is well known as the architect of much Labour economic policy working for Brown - ie he is implicated in the eight year long period of borrowing and spending which created the UK structural deficit before the credit crunch.
    Labour now has two 'deficit deniers' in the top 2 posts - not a good sign for those of us who want to see fiscal rectitude from a prospective government.
    I reckon Miliband would have been better giving the job to Yvette Cooper - less tainted than Balls by the previous regime, plus which he might end up pulling fewer knives out of his back.

  • Comment number 89.

    I think when Mr Johnson admitted he did not know that was tax evasion is ILLEGAL and tax avoidance is LEGAL, he went to an accountant who explained some basic economics to him. I think then he realised he may have to review his tax returns. Someone also told him that CBebbies is for CHILDREN and there is NO Magic Money Tree that Mr Balls and the Clown had been telling us children about for years.
    Mr Balls, the grand architect of the mess we are in economically is like Manna from heaven for the Tories.
    Balls by name balls by nature (economically of course)

  • Comment number 90.

    I'm sorry to see Alan Johnson go. He was the last of the people's politicians and will be sadly missed.

    We really do need more real people like Alan in politics, not fewer.

  • Comment number 91.

    11. At 6:03pm on 20 Jan 2011, Mrs Vee wrote:
    [sic] Alan Johnson would be out of his depth in a paddling pool..

    Surely you meant a puddle? LOL

  • Comment number 92.

    it is not his resignation we need it is that of the bank of england monetary policy committee, yes those that take 2 days to make a decision that a 5 year old could make in 5 minutes, and getting paid huge amounts of our money to do so, further for even one to be talking about raising interest rates is tantamount to pulling the plug on uk plc, please chancellor do the right thing, dump them

  • Comment number 93.

    Love seeing how the BBC lefties spin this one for their masters.
    Their condescension is obnoxious and the contempt they show for the intelligence of the people of Britain odious

  • Comment number 94.

    Ed Balls is as close as you get in a democracy to a maniac.

    His position during the Labour leadership debates was that there should be no cuts. He is the ultimate Deficit Denier.

    That is why Miliband didn't want Balls in the Shadow Chancellor job. But Johnson has gone - so Miliband was given no choice by internal politics to appoint this detested man to the job.

    We now have a complete set of Brown's incompetents sitting on the Labour front bench. What a sight.

  • Comment number 95.

    60. At 7:15pm on 20 Jan 2011, Phil Hughes wrote:

    Does this mean there's now no-one left on the Shadow Front Bench who's ever had a proper job?
    Remind me again - of Gideon's illustrious career in.........?

    Well at least he's demonstrated good judgement and not made any dumb gaffes....and he's certainly got those bankers sorted hasn't he?

  • Comment number 96.

    Britains answer to years of reckless spending and waste of our taxes.First make one of BROWNS ex-lackies win the ALICE IN WONDERLAND government the new party leader.Then give the Shaddow Chancelors job to someone that knows nothing about finance.He does a runner and we get BROWNS bag carrier.Who will now spend hours on the BBC telling us how to run the country.Having bancrupted the country with his idol BROWN.If he is true to form we will get the same old fantasies.

  • Comment number 97.

    It's time we fired all M.P.s and ministers, never mind letting them resign. All of the statues of Prime Ministers from about 1980 should be taken away and put in a "Hall of Shame". We need to comment on issues like the P.M.'s supposed sympathy for the "disabled girl"...story on BBC today, 20 January 2011. My comment on that one is:- Politicians will do nothing but always like to be seen "sympathising". What a hypocrite. I would swear here if the BBC allowed it but they don't and they censor commments too, to shore up party politics, which is a dead system. The people of this country need to rid themselves of politicians and vote on issues. The population is well-informed enough to repeal the ludicrous laws instituted by the idiots of Westminter over the last 40 years and create a few new laws that actually benefit the people instead of just the M.P. class. Oh yes, they are a class alright and they're bleeding you dry.

  • Comment number 98.

    I hope Mr Cameron asks Mr Johnson to take a role in the new politics. He can do a good job for the UK, but not under the fools who run the La La Labour party

  • Comment number 99.

    My reaction is to say that Balls will be just as useless as the one thankfully resigning. Blue or red, M.P.s are a class and they're milking us. At the next election you will be able to reject all M.P's and choose to vote on issues (make the laws yourself). By the way Mr Balls first name is "Load of".

  • Comment number 100.

    He was never up to the job, the only good thing was that he kept Balls out of it. But no longer - God help us if he ever gets into No 11.


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