Vince Cable will tomorrow lose his job as Liberal Democrat economy spokesman for the election, Coffee House understands.
The party is set to announce its team of leading spokespeople for the General Election and I have obtained names in advance. Cable’s demotion in favour of Danny Alexander has been expected for a few months now. The Business Secretary will speak for the party on business.
A well-placed source indicates that Lynne Featherstone will continue covering home affairs, Jo Swinson is due a job of some description and it’s likely that Baroness Susan Kramer will continue speaking on transport.
However, there will be no role for Kramer’s colleague in the Lords, Baroness Lindsay Northover. She is currently a minister in the Department for International Development, but will not speak for her party on these issues during the general election. Instead she will be replaced by a man, Cheltenham MP Martin Horwood.
Simon Hughes, and Dan Rogerson will cover the departments in which they are currently ministers (Justice and Environment respectively). In addition, the source indicated that sacked ex-ministers Nick Harvey and Michael Moore will return to the senior Lib Dem team, with the former speaking on defence, the latter speaking on Europe. Harvey’s return would be particularly surprising, as he turned down the opportunity of being Government Deputy Chief Whip at the last reshuffle.
It is Vince Cable’s demotion that will be the major talking point though. That team Clegg feel confident enough to not make him their Shadow Chancellor indicates they believe this Lib Dem big beast may have been tamed once and for all.