20 January 2011


The resignation of Alan Johnson as shadow chancellor is a surprise – but then so was his appointment, and he had hardly shone in his role. Ed Balls takes his job, which is good news (he should have been appointed instead of Johnson last October), and Yvette Cooper moves from shadow foreign secretary to shadow home secretary, which also makes sense. I'm not so sure about Douglas Alexander as shadow foreign secretary – he was a distinctly lacklustre Europe minister, though that wasn't entirely his fault – and  Liam "I’m afraid to tell you there's no money left" Byrne is anything but an inspired choice to shadow work and pensions.

I'm prepared to bet anyone a fiver that whingeing about Balls's appointment from the Blairite ultras will be heard on news bulletins before midnight.

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