Peter Hain, MP for Neath and Secretary of State for Wales, has been relieved of the Northern Ireland brief, and been promoted to be Minister of Work and Pensions. He has criticised us for wanting to reform the wasteful New Deal programme. However, he now finds himself in charge of the run-down of local Job Centres, part of the Treasury's desperate scramble to fill the so-called "black hole" in government finances. Will he attempt to reverse this?
Incidentally, an unkind Scottish colleague suggested that Quentin Davies (about whom Guido Fawkes is scathing) should become the Welsh Secretary in view of "his history of sheep abuse".
On the subject of Tories crossing the floor to New Labour, Shaun Woodward has been given the Northern Ireland brief which Paddy Ashdown turned down, showing how peripheral this job has become and thus vindicating Paddy's decision.
- Frank Little