Following the conclusion of the party conference season, the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition have taken the opportunity to undertake a reshuffle of their top teams. For the Government, David Cameron has focussed on the junior ministerial ranks, with the Cabinet remaining unchanged but for the replacement of the Liberal Democrat Scottish Secretary, Michael Moore with Alistair Carmichael. Promotions for protégés of the Chancellor, such as Matt Hancock at BIS and Sajid Javid at the Treasury, have signalled George Osborne’s continuing grip on the direction and make-up of the Government. They, and others who have been favoured this week, will now have the opportunity to demonstrate their skills over the coming months in advance of an anticipated full Cabinet reshuffle next year as the Prime Minister looks to present a fresh team to the electorate in May 2015.
For the Opposition, Ed Miliband has shuffled his team as he seeks to capitalise on the momentum gained through the party conference season. Whether or not the changes should be interpreted as a ‘purge of the Blairites’, the replacement of Liam Byrne and Stephen Twigg by, respectively, Rachel Reeves and Tristram Hunt, has certainly allowed the Labour leader to put his own stamp on the Shadow Cabinet. Both Reeves and Hunt will be asked to strengthen Labour’s messages and policies on welfare and education, two critical areas where the Coalition is widely seen to have led the debate since 2010.
With the general election now focussing minds more than ever, both Cameron and Miliband will hope that their new teams will sharpen their messages to the public. To help you keep track of the changes to both sides, Insight Public Affairs hasprepared an at-a-glance guide to the Government and Opposition teams to explain the main changes.
The poster can be downloaded here.