Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Ken Clarke is back!

So Ken Clarke is going to come back into the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Business Secretary (although I saw on the ITV news he was described as Business Secretary - a bit premature I thought!).

There is already reaction here from Iain Dale and here from LabourHome.

I think this is a good move for Cameron as it brings a heavyweight (in more than one sense) back into the Shadow Cabinet and lord knows they need them. It is of course a risk as his views on Europe are out of step with the majority of the party to put it mildly but you have to assume that Cameron will have had some sort of assurance from him that he will not stir things up - time will tell.

I do agree with one of the comments on LabourHome however that bringing him back will undermine George Osborne as having a former (and fairly successful) Chancellor in the Shadow Cabinet can only diminish his status surely.


Liberal Polemic said...

"Ken Clarke ... as described as Business Secretary - a bit premature I thought!"

This raises an interesting question. It being conventional for new PMs to shuffle between Shadow and Cabinet, there is no reason to assume - even if there is a Tory victory - that Ken Clarke will ever be Business Secretary, or even in the Cabinet.

It is entirely possible that he will serve his purpose as a useful foot-soldier and then find himself surplus to requirements in the new, Über-Cameroonian government.

Mark Thompson said...


A tactical move to bolster electoral chances need not translate at all into a cabinet position. Of course ol' red-face well knows this and doubtless doesn't really care as long as he gets to play for the next 18 months. Or until he gets bored.