Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Welsh Labour MPs join Front Bench Wow!

The BBC reports that ED Miliband has  appointed 12 Welsh MPs  (of a total of 26) to his shadow Welsh Team
  • Peter Hain (Neath), Nia Griffith MP (Llanelli), Lord (Bryan) Davies: (Who seems to be the ex MP for Oldham and I can't see any Welsh connections)
  • Ian Lucas (Wrexham): Foreign Office
  • Owen Smith (Pontypridd): Treasury
  • Wayne David (Caerphilly): Justice
  • Chris Bryant (Rhondda) and David Hanson (Delyn): Home Office
  • Kevin Brennan (Cardiff West): Education
  • Huw Irranca-Davies (Ogmore): Environment
  • Chris Ruane (Vale of Clwyd), Susan Elan Jones (Clwyd South), Mark Tami (Alyn and Deeside): Whips
This is the first time that a Labour Leader has a freehand to chose his shadow ministers  since the scrapping the elections this year.

At first glance 12 front Welsh Shadow members looks impressive  but when you look at the full list here. you can see that they are not exactly dominating the Labour front Bench.

In fact the term Front Bench is a bit of a misnomer  because there are so many of them there would be no room on the front Bench in one sitting and they will occasionally do so and mostly when the house is half empty Tough one will be chosen to sit next to Ed at PMQ every so often to ensure the natives think their MPs have some influence.

Only one MP Peter Hain is in the Shadow Cabinet and that is in the Welsh Office if the position didn't exist would Hain be in the Cabinet? . Possibly but one some would have suspected this was his last chance to have a plum portfolio instead of a position that because of devolution could well be scrapped before the next election.This compares badly with Scotland which has three members and either shows that Welsh MPs are not seen as up to the Job  or as no threat where a promotion to the Cabinet will ensure their loyalty.
In fact  with 258 Labour MPs   who in opposition are often more rebellious. Given as many  shadow jobs as possible (which could be nearly 50% of them) and dangling the prospect of promotion is a way of ensuring their loyalty.

As far as the Welsh MPs don't expect to see them preforming at the dispatch box very often on the BBC Parliament Channel

  1. One of the the front bencher  MPs is in the Welsh Office.
  2. Three are in the Whips Office which limits their contributions to debate.
  3. Only the Owen Smith Treasury  and Chris Bryant (Home Office ) really  can be seen as promotion  and it looks like thy is the only current Labour MPs from Wales  who are seen as Cabinet potential.

So we have in fact very little Welsh influence in the new Labour Shadow cabinet and  the only Member from Wales (Peter Hain) seems to be intent on interfering in the Welsh Assembly and seizing control of the leadership of the Labour Party in Wales.

Mind you the failure of Welsh Labour MPs to get  a shadow cabinet position is as nothing to the position of the  eight  Tory and three  Liberal Democrats in the coalition government none of whom seem to be up to even the position of Welsh secretary  which is still held by Cheryl Gilian the MP Chesham and Amersham in Buckinghamshire. Despite the fact that she has.t a clue.

1 comment:

  1. Lord (Bryan) Davies, his mother seems to be the link with Wales, she was Beryl Eugene Parsons was born in 1909 at Bedwelty, Monmouthshire, Wales.

    Insufficient, I would think, to be considered Welsh.