Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Lib Dem Cabinet Ministers speculation

I may be getting a bit ahead of myself here but what the hell, it's good fun! I thought I might quickly speculate about what cabinet positions which Lib Dems might get if a coalition is confirmed later this evening as seems now to be likely according to reports.

So, the first rumour is that Nick Clegg could be Deputy Prime Minister and also Home Secretary. The Home Office brief would certainly make sense for Clegg in my view. The idea he could be DPM is very interesting though. Would that mean he would stand in for Cameron at PMQs!? We really would be through the looking glass at that point.

Another thing I am hearing is that George Osborne might step back from the Chancellorship and allow Ken Clarke to step into that role with Osborne going to Business. An associated rumour is that if that did happen Vince Cable might be made Chief Secretary to the Treasury. This would be Iain Dale's dream team that he blogged about over the weekend although he also suggested that they might end up the Statler and Waldorf of British politics!

Following Michael Gove's praise at the weekend for David Laws and his willingness to step back in favour of him there must the possibility that Laws will go to education. Laws is certainly in the ascendency now and seems to have done very well in the negotiations. Expect him to get something.

Chris Huhne would also be likely to get a post although if the Home Office is taken by Clegg then it would need to be something else, perhaps Communities and Local Government.

Wildcard might be Paddy Ashdown at Defence which would be an excellent appointment but would Liam Fox accept that?

The way things are going we should know how likely any of this is pretty soon...


Duncan Stott said...

Cameron giving defence to the Lib Dems would make his backbenchers explode. No chance.

Caron said...

The other thing that might happen is for them to make Alistair Carmichael the Secretary of State for Scotland - that would be quite a good move cos he would be ideal for the role.

Frenetica said...

Don't think we would get (or want) Deputy PM. Home Office maybe but full of obstacles so Foreign Minister would be better for Clegg. Education or Health would be good. A Deputy Chancellorship would be fair.

Jennie said...

Lynne Featherstone at equalities?

Chris Terry said...

I could definitely see Ashdown at Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. There's good reason why Brown offered him that position.

Brian Robson said...

Given the Tory weakness north of the border, I wouldn't be surprised if we got Scotland. Mike Moore or Danny Alexander, perhaps?

Brian Robson said...

Oops - hadn't seen Caron's comment above. Alistair would be good too!

Bernard Salmon said...

I'd like to see us have Secretary of State for energy and climate change - Andrew Stunell would be a good choice for this. Having been on the negotiating team, he could be in line for a decent job.

Steven said...

I agree on the Nick Clegg point. Most likely to (provided a coalition deal is approved) become Deputy Prime Minister and perhaps Home Secretary.

I agree with the Vince Cable point. But we could be shocked with a Chancellor appointment? If Osborne were to resign during the duration of the coalition, Cable could become Chancellor, even if he doesn't get it here.

And Carmichael? Definately.

And Ashdown for Foreign Secretary or Northern Ireland?

Only time will tell.

Duncan said...

I suspect they'll want to keep their only Tory as Scotland sec. Think about it.

Nick - DPM (and Home Sec?)
Vince - Deputy Chancellor or Sec to the Treasury with the brief of the City Minister. (Osborne or Clarke as Chancellor is the question)
David Law - Education Sec?
Chris Huhne - Environment Sec
Danny Alexander as some sort of cabinet minister without portfolio for Nick.

I heard talk of Ming for speaker; anyone heard anything about this?

enlight-bystand said...

Ming for Speaker- Probably would have only happened if Bercow had lost. A messy coup against him is not what we need this early in the coalition

Chris Terry said...

There was pre-election talk of backbench Tories launching a coup against Bercow and giving the job to Labour right-winger Frank Field. With every seat counting, I could see it happening, but we'll see.

Course the question is what would then happen to Bercow.

Tim said...

@Chris - there would be a by-election in Buckingham if Bercow was got rid of and if he then stood down as an MP (he is still an MP, I guess, even if no longer speaker), and it's a safe tory seat. I don't think he would step down as an MP though unless he left inelegantly, like Gorbals Mick.

I don't think the tories will give up the Foreign Office, Hague will get that surely.

Nick at PMQs vs Harman would be great entertainment!

Oranjepan said...

Not really bothered about the precise roles, just happy to be able to sideline the hardcore rightwingers.

Though I am interested to know what the procedure for replacing and reshuffling ministers will be. Will Clegg get a veto?

Still far from convinced about a four year fixed-term coalition - it could easily result in paralysis and being stuck with a failing PM who'd then become be a lame duck. Would Clegg threaten to break the agreement at any point having gained experience from the inside, and if so at what point - 6 months, 40 months?

I have to say I was particularly uninspired by Cameron's speech. I wasn't only underwhelmed but also beginning to get depressed at just how stuffy he is.

On the other hand perhaps lowered expectations are a better way to start, unlike 1997 - they certainly seem to be adopting our economic policies in tranches which has to be good.