Peter Hain tipped to leave Labour frontline politics

Politics used to follow a familiar routine. The government of the day would get a kicking at local elections and the prime minister would then try to distract media attention by carrying out a reshuffle.

Sometimes it worked - up to a point. We political hacks can be obsessed by who's up, who's down, although sometimes reshuffles go wrong - try googling "Blair", "reshuffle" and "botched".

In 2012, things are rather different. More than two years since the general election, David Cameron has yet to carry out a full cabinet reshuffle.

Whitehall has been abuzz with reshuffle speculation this week, but today's Daily Mirror suggests Labour leader Ed Miliband may reshuffle his top team first.

The Mirror suggests that one of those to choose to jump will be the shadow Welsh secretary Peter Hain.

Is it true? Sometimes politicians react to these stories with what we in the trade call "non-denial denials" but it would be stretching things to describe the response from Team Hain in those terms.

"There's not going to be a reshuffle today or this weekend," said a source close to the Neath MP.

"All the reshuffle speculation is on Cameron. If anything is going to happen it's not going to happen today or this weekend. We have just won an election."

Asked if Mr Hain would stand down, he said: "Not straight away. We don't want to comment on what might happen when there's a reshuffle."

So the Mirror story appears to be true and Cheryl Gilan may yet outlast Peter Hain at the top of Welsh politics at Westminster, which might surprise some Conservative MPs.

Mr Hain chaired Labour's local election campaign in Wales and will be able to say he's going out on a high.

These days the shadow cabinet is appointed rather than elected, so Ed Miliband will have more MPs to choose from.

Owen Smith, Chris Bryant and Kevin Brennan are three names likely to find themselves linked with the vacancy when it arises.