Nick Clegg’s statement just now was notable for how he stressed that he would like Chris Huhne back in the Cabinet if Huhne emerges from these current difficulties. This echoes what he said
in his exchange of letters with the departing Energy and Climate Change Secretary. Cameron — notably — made no such comment in his letter to Huhne.
The reshuffle is widely as expected with Ed Davey coming into the Cabinet and Norman Lamb taking his post in the Business Department. But David Laws, who is already acting as an unofficial policy
adviser to Clegg, doesn’t make a formal return to the government. Instead the spare pay roll post goes to Jenny Willott, who was a tuition fees rebel.
I suspect that the Tories will be happy with this ‘shuffle. Davey is regarded as a reasonable and collegiate minister and the Tories hope that he’ll be more conscious than Huhne was of
the costs imposed on businesses by green energy policies. The move for Norman Lamb will also be welcomed as the former Lib Dem health spokesman used his post in Clegg’s office to agitate
against Andrew Lansley’s reforms. Advocates of these reforms think that now Lamb has his own ministerial job he’ll have less time to try and change the health reforms.
More Spectator for less. Stay informed leading up to the EU referendum and in the aftermath. Subscribe and receive 15 issues delivered for just £15, with full web and app access. Join us.