Paul Waugh has a very interesting piece just published on his blog reminding us that when Labour is in opposition, the Shadow Cabinet is elected by the Parliamentary Labour Party.
Apparently, people like David Miliband and Douglas Alexander might struggle to get the votes to remain a member of the Shadow Cabinet should Labour lose the next election. It could also lead to some interesting appointments such as Jon Cruddas and perhaps others currently languishing on the back benches.
It's one of those things that I expect Blair and Brown intended to change at some point (given their centralising and controlling tendencies) but given that neither of them expected to be Leader of the Opposition after 1997 it was probably way down the list of priorities.
I think it is a good thing for the democracy of their party and I wonder what the effect might have been if these rules also applied to the Cabinet when the party is in government.