by Gary J
Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 05:20:13 AM EST
Historically it has not been very important which part of the UK a minister comes from. However in the new age of devolution and regional ministers the spatial dimension may become more important.
I have analysed the newly appointed Brown cabinet. It should be noted that in the UK it is not unusual for an MP to represent an area they do not come from originally. In particular politicians of the left from southern England have long migrated north to get a safe seat in Parliament. However for present purposes MPs will be attributed to the region in which their constituency is located. Peers are associated with the area the long form of their title refers to (ie Baroness Ashton of Upholland 'of St. Albans in the County of Hertford').
For details see below the fold. However to summarise the position.
- East of England: 13 Labour MPs out of 56. One peer and no MPs in cabinet.
- East Midlands: 25 MPs out of 44. 1 cabinet member.
- London: 44 MPs out of 74. 1 cabinet member (the elected Deputy Leader of the party).
- North East England: 28 MPs out of 30. 1 cabinet member.
- North West of England: 61 out of 76 MPs. 7 members of the cabinet.
- South East of England: 19 Labour MPs out of 83. 1 member of the cabinet.
- South West of England: 13 MPs out of 51. No member of the cabinet.
- West Midlands: 39 out of 59 MPs. 1 cabinet member.
- Yorkshire and the Humber: 44 out of 56. 4 members of the cabinet.
A. (England as a whole 286 Labour MPs out of 529. 17 cabinet members.)
B. Northern Ireland: 0 out of 18 MPs. Not surprisingly no members of the cabinet.
C. Scotland: 41 out of 59 members. 4 members of the cabinet (including Prime Minister Brown).
D. Wales: 29 MPs out of 40. 1 member of the cabinet.
Overall the representation is biased towards northern England and Scotland. In particular the two largest English cities, London and Birmingham (in West Midlands region) although returning many Labour MPs seem to be under-represented in cabinet. There also seems to be no attempt to build up leaders in Labour's weaker regions in southern and eastern England.
From the diaries by afew
Prime Minister: Gordon Brown (MP from 1983), represents Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath (Scotland)
Chancellor of the Exchequer: Alistair Darling (MP 1987) Edinburgh South (Scotland)
Foreign & Commonwealth: David Miliband (MP 2001) South Shields (North East)
Home: Jacqui Smith (MP 1997) Redditch (West Midlands)
Health: Alan Johnson (MP 1997) Kingston upon Hull West & Hessle (Yorkshire & the Humber)
International Development: Douglas Alexander (MP 1997) Paisley & Renfrewshire South (Scotland)
Work and Pensions/Wales: Peter Hain (MP 1991) Neath (Wales)
Culture: James Purnell (MP 2001) Stalybridge & Hyde (North West) - new member of the cabinet
Trade & Industry: John Hutton (MP 1992) Barrow and Furness (North West)
Communities: Hazel Blears (MP 1997) Salford (North West)
Justice: Jack Straw (MP 1979) Blackburn (North West)
Leader of the Commons (Party Chair and Deputy Leader): Harriet Harman (MP 1982) Camberwell & Peckham (London) - returned to cabinet after a period out of it.
Environment: Hilary Benn (MP 1999) Leeds Central (Yorkshire & the Humber)
Schools & Children: Ed Balls (MP 2005) Normanton (Yorkshire & the Humber) - new member of cabinet
Defence/Scotland: Des Browne (MP 1997) Kilmarnock & Loudoun (Scotland) - only person to have same jobs in the Blair and Brown cabinets
Cabinet Office minister: Ed Miliband (MP 2005) Doncaster North (Yorkshire and the Humber) - new member of cabinet
Chief Whip: Geoff Hoon (MP 1992) Ashfield (East Midlands) - returned to cabinet after a period out of it
Leader of the Lords: Baroness Ashton of Upholland (peer from 1999) (East of England) - new member of the cabinet
Innovation, Universities & Skills: John Denham (MP 1992) Southampton Itchen (South East) - new member of cabinet
Northern Ireland: Shaun Woodward (MP 1997 - Conservative until 1999) St Helens South (North West) - new member of cabinet
Also Transport: Ruth Kelly (MP 1997) Bolton West (North West)