Really sorry to see that Francis Maude has lost his place as our Party Chairman. Perhaps he's overdone the pessimism! Anyway I'm a big fan of Francis and will remain so. He's done a lot for us and has played a big part in the repositioning that has happened over the last year or so. Reason my feelings are mixed is that I am also a fan of Caroline Spelman. I acted as her chauffeur for the day when the Shadow Cabinet met in Wales last March. Not only was she a great companion and superb communicator, but she's a rugby enthusiast. Her husband was a player ( Harlequins I think) and so are her sons. And she's a sportswoman herself. Will comment on the other changes after reading the detail tomorrow. Especially, the appointment of my neighbour, Owen Paterson (well 20 miles) to Northern Ireland, which totally surprised me.
I fear that Hugo Squire has gone though. But perhaps Julie Kirkbride, Daniel Kawszynski or one or more of the Welsh boys will have been promoted to assuage this disappointment as well.
The appointment of Pauline Neville-Jones, former Head of the Joint Intelligence Committee to Shadow Secretary for Security looks to be a real coup for us. And the appointment of Sayeeda Warsi as Shadow Minister for Community Cohesion looks interesting as well. Remember her ripping into another of my neighbours, Nick Griffin (well 10 miles) on Newsnight. She doesn't mince her words, for sure. This is a good response to the Brown changes. Pity its being overshadowed by the terrorism issues.