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.

David Cornock Article written by David Cornock David Cornock Parliamentary correspondent, Wales

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  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    The one thing you have to draw from all this is that George is a lousy politician. With his cut on the 50p rate of tax he pleases those that have nowhere else to go. In the process he irritates many pensioners to pay for it. It would be interesting to know the relative decline in Tory votes of postal voters and the rest. His arguments for doing it are irrelevant: worse than a crime: a blunder.

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    Nothing is ever true until it has been denied! Labour didn't win this election, it was won by the stay-at-home Party. Labour reclaimed a bit of lost ground - that's all.

    This dreadful Coalition got what it deserved - a kicking! Hard to see how Cameron can screw up the not-the-Conservative Party any more really - but that probably won't stop him trying!

    The natives are getting restless!

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    Hain was bad enough, but Bryant! I hope you're wrong on that one. Although it must be said with Mr. Grandstand doing Welsh questions there'll be a lot more Punch and Judy with about as much practical use comming out of it. Meanwhile down the Bay, Jones sees more Labour victories. Not if he doesn't deliver his 'deliverables'!

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    I am sure that we all recall the frantic efforts of the Conservative Opposition to call for increased powers for Mr Brown, the Treasury and the Bank of England so as they could increase control of the Banks, strengthen criteria for loans, and choke off the spiral in house prices. We recall Mr Cameron's brilliant speech calling for a Tobin tax to choke off speculation.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    Brecht said: if the government doesn't like the electorate it should dissolve it and elect another one. Labour did not create a mess which has deep roots starting with increasing globalization in the early 80s and banking deregulation. The ConLibs are conspicuously failing to sort it out, repeating the errors of the 1930s.Oh the stupidity indeed.


Comments 5 of 6



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