Miliband reshuffle a strange mix of boldness and caution

Many of those who care enormously about the Labour reshuffle have probably seen it already on Twitter or on the party blogs. Others could happily survive without knowing the new shadow minister for the Cabinet Office (Jon Trickett, since you ask) or the new shadow Scotland secretary (Margaret Curran).

But for an overview our news story is on ft.com now.

My observation is that it is a strange mix of the radical and the unradical. For sure, most commentators will focus on the arrival of six of last year’s Commons intake; they include impressive figures such as Rachel Reeves and Chuka Umunna. Less televisual – but more experienced – types such as John Denham and Shaun Woodward have been dropped.

Then again other highly-regarded youngsters have not made it on to the frontbench yet, despite the rumour machine; Stella Creasey, John Woodcock, Gloria de Piero, Luciana Berger.

In terms of whether the reshuffle moves Miliband to the left or right it is pretty hard to say one way or another: although Stephen Twigg, the new shadow education secretary, is a well-known Blairite.

The only other thing I noticed was the promotion of three figures from the Brown/Balls camp; Tom Watson to deputy chair, Vernon Coaker to Northern Ireland and Michael Dugher to “without portfolio”. Could this in any way be to compensate for the loss of John Healey, who was not only one of the most popular shad-cab members but also a key ally of Ed Balls?