The Labour reshuffle is an attempt to bring more energy and aggression into Ed
Miliband’s top team. It is also a recognition that the party has failed to cut through on public service reform, hence new shadows at both health and education.
Chuka Umunna’s rapid promotion to shadow Business Secretary will, I suspect, dominate coverage of the reshuffle. Having been an MP for less than 18 months, Umunna now finds himself up against Vince
Cable. If he succeeds in this role, he’ll rapidly become the leader in waiting. But there’s also a danger that it might all be too much, too soon for him.
Umunna is one of five new MPs to make the shadow Cabinet. Rachel Reeves, a former Bank of England economist and steady media performer, will shadow Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury.
Former Brown spinner Michael Dugher becomes the party’s attack dog in chief as shadow minister without portfolio. Liz Kendall gets the care and older people brief ahead of the government’s response
to the Dilnot Review into the funding of social care and Margaret Curran goes to Scotland.
One other eye-catching appointment is Tom Watson becoming the party’s campaign coordinator – an official endorsement for his phone hacking campaign. Surprisingly, I understand that Watson
will be allowed to remain on the Culture, Media and Sport select committee.