Tom Watson might be preparing to fly half round the world to continue his fight against Rupert Murdoch. But Ed Miliband has still not named a replacement for Watson as Labour’s campaign coordinator.
It was thought that the contest for this role was between Michael Dugher, who was part of Watson’s team and is the choice of the Labour machine, and Douglas Alexander, the shadow Foreign Secretary, who ran Labour’s 2010 general election campaign and David Miliband’s leadership bid. Vernon Coaker, who is in line for promotion from the Northern Ireland brief in the coming reshuffle, was also considered a contender.
But Patrick Wintour reports that two new names have entered the frame: Rachel Reeves, the shadow Chief Secretary, and Owen Smith, who covers the Welsh brief. Both are new intake MPs who backed Ed Miliband for the leadership. As Rafael Behr argues today in The Times, those close to Miliband are keen to put more of his loyalists in key posts.
What’s certain is that Miliband needs to do his shadow cabinet reshuffle sooner rather than later. The shadow cabinet has been far too silent this summer.