Richard North, 08/05/2005  
 

I suppose the one good thing to come out of this election – albeit tangentally – is that the ghastly Denis MacShane has been replaced as minister for Europe.

His place has been taken by Douglas Alexander, a former researcher and speechwriter for Gordon Brown, a man considered to be a key ally of the chancellor. He is said to be distrusted by some Blairites yet will be the key figure in promoting the EU constitution during the referendum campaign.

The new man will sit in on Cabinet meetings, something which MacShane never got to do. Although he does not get a vote, this does suggest the post has been upgraded.

Whether Alexander will be any better or worse than his egregious predecessor remains to be seen but, for the moment, it is bye-bye Denis.






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