Friday 8 October 2010

The shadow cabinet generation game

Only four members of Ed Miliband's new shadow cabinet have previous Parliamentary experience of opposition, with the landslide class of 1997 performing most strongly in the shadow cabinet elections.

In all, seventeen of the current shadow cabinet entering Parliament from 1997-2005 while Labour was in power, with only Harriet Harman, Tessa Jowell, John Denham and Angela Eagle having previously sat facing the government benches.

It is probable that Peter Hain will be drafted in to strengthen the pre-97 cohort, with no MP for Wales having been elected.

And a very happy 40th birthday today - and congratulations on his election to Fabian Society chair Sadiq Khan: he heads a group of new 'class of 2005' MPs who join Eds Miliband and Balls in the shadow cabinet in this election. Khan is also the first non-white MP to be elected by MPs to a Labour shadow cabinet, though other black candidates including David Lammy and Diane Abbott were unsuccessful this time.

Shadow Cabinet (Parliamentary) generations

Elected pre-1992: 1 (Harman)
Elected 1992-6: 3 (Jowell, Denham, Eagle)
Elected in 1997-00: 10 (Cooper, Healey, Johnson, Alexander, Murphy, Flint, Lewis, Winterton, Lloyd, + Benn)
Elected 2001-04: 2 (Burnham, + Byrne)
Elected 2005- : 5 (Miliband, Balls, Khan, McKechin, Hillier)

Ed Miliband leader 2005
Harriet Harman deputy 1982

Yvette Cooper 232 1997
John Healey 192 1997 (new)
Ed Balls 179 2005
Andy Burnham 165 2001
Angela Eagle 165 1992 (new)
Alan Johnson 163 1997
Douglas Alexander 160 1997
Jim Murphy 160 1997
Tessa Jowell 152 1992
Caroline Flint 139 1997 (new)
John Denham 129 1992
Hilary Benn 128 1999
Sadiq Khan 128 2005 (new)
Mary Creagh 119 2005 (new)
Ann McKechin 117 2005 (new)
Maria Eagle 107 1997 (new)
Meg Hillier 106 2005 (new)
Ivan Lewis 104 1997 (new)
Liam Byrne 100 2004

Rosie Winterton, chief whip 1997
Tony Lloyd, PLP chair 1997

Jan Royall and Steve Bassam (peers)

Not elected
Emily Thornberry 99 (2005)
Peter Hain 97 (1991)
Fiona MacTaggart 88 (1997)
Barbara Keeley 87 (2005)
Vernon Coaker 85 (1997)
Pat McFadden 84 (2005)
Helen Goodman 80 (2005)
David Lammy 80 (2000)
Stephen Timms 79 (1994)
Chris Bryant 77 (2001)
Shaun Woodward 72 (1997)
Gareth Thomas 71 (1997)
Kevan Jones 68 (2001)
Kevin Brennan 64 (2001)
Roberta Blackman-Woods 63 (2005)
Diane Abbott 59 (1987)
Tom Harris 54 (2005)
Stephen Twigg 55 (1997-05 and 2010)
Ben Bradshaw 53 (1997)
Iain Wright 43 (2004)
Barry Gardiner 41 (1997)
David Hanson 38 (1992)
Ian Lucas 34 (2001)
Wayne David 30 (2001)
Huw Irranca-Davies 28 (2002)
Chris Leslie 26 (1997 and 2010)
Robert Flello 15 (2005)
Mike Gapes 12 (1992)
Alun Michael 11 (1987)
Eric Joyce 10 (2005)


13eastie said...

Labour's paragon of democracy has finally borne fruits more than five months after being slung out of office when the process started:

The PLP and wider membership have had their first choice of leader vetoed by union block votes.

As first choice among the new spokesmen, Yvette Cooper already has wider support in the PLP than leader Red Ed, who himself trails behind his absent brother.

Dumped with Red Ed, the PLP has in return given him a "new" generation front bench that is nothing of the sort, constituted instead mostly by the same senior people who flip-flopped and house-flipped their ways through Blair's and Brown's cabinets. (There would have been more of them, too, were it not for the token women). There is still a huge amount of unapologetic collective responsibility for Blair's Iraq and Brown's economic catastrophe on the Labour front bench.

The PLP, rather than trying to "reconnect" has selected its front bench from the "elite political class" using a misguided "we know what's best for you" philosophy. Largely public school and Oxford PPE, "hideously" white, nepotistic, career politicians, Labour's front bench will aim to face down its own horrendous dual legacy of economic disaster at home and quagmire conflict abroad, by employing political luvvies, practically none of whom have any useful experience, especially in commerce and the military. These people can never claim any practical understanding of the issues faced by the people they pretend to represent.

Five years of deficit denial, having no safe position w.r.t. industrial relations, and trying to look pleased about the outcome of its own internal election is going to be exhausting for the PLP.

Anonymous said...

Aargh, sorry to do this again.

Tony Lloyd was first elected for Stretford in 1983. He switched to Manchester Central when his seat was abolished in 1997.

Sunder Katwala said...


good spot: thank you. I think I'd given up paying attention by then.