The Telegraph is reporting that David Cameron won’t reshuffle the shadow cabinet. This is a mistake. There’s some dead wood in the shadow cabinet that needs chopping out – last year The Spectator revealed that Cameron only thought 10 of its members were up to being ministers - some apparent conflicts of interest that need resolving and some talent that needs including.
Cameron should start by telling his top team that the level of scrutiny on them is going to be turned up in the coming months so any second jobs that could in anyway be seen to overlap with their responsibilities must go. Anyone who isn’t prepared to comply with this should be dropped in the reshuffle. Some Tories grimly speculate that the shadow cabinet wouldn’t wear this, but seeing how close to power they are I suspect most of them would.
Next, Cameron should work out who he would like in his first cabinet and have the shadow cabinet reflect that. This might mean bringing back big beasts such as Ken Clarke—he would be a fantastic shadow home secretary—and promoting the most talented people outside the shadow cabinet—Greg Clark, Paul Goodman and Maria Miller are all worthy of a spot at the top table.
Labour is handicapped by having so much of its talent on the backbenches and not in the cabinet because of various splits and scandals. The Tories should capitalise on this by fielding their strongest team.