Following his wafer-thin victory in the Lib Dem leadership election, Nick Clegg today confirmed the make-up of the latest bunch to take up space on the Opposition front benches. Dividing his front bench into "teams", Clegg has claimed that this will enable the party to focus its messages on public services, inequality, families and decentralising power.
Appointments of note include his defeated rival Chris Huhne taking up Clegg’s former position in the Home Affairs brief. Vince Cable retains his positions as shadow Chancellor and Deputy Leader following strong performances in the House of Commons, and Orange Book author Ed Davey has been promoted to the post of Foreign Affairs spokesman. Hornsey and Wood Green shrieker Lynne Featherstone gets Youth and Equality (insert own joke).
Wonder how happy Huhne is at getting Clegg’s sloppy seconds at Home Affairs? Several punters were guessing that Clegg would rather send his defeated rival off the media wilderness of Foreign Affairs, as opposed to the Department which currently causes so many Dim Lebs to squeal. The possibility of course is that Huhne would have refused all positions bar Home, which of course will give him the central role in providing the Yellow Streak’s opposition to ID cards, profiling and prolonged detention before trial.
In any case, Clegg will need his new Chief of Staff (European policy wonk Danny Alexander) to keep an close ear to the ground, since Huhne will be looking to make it third time lucky in the leadership stakes – and will be only too happy to pounce if Clegg proves half as calamitous as his election document suggested.