The Guardian’s right – the Adonis move is a major coup for Osborne

The Guardian’s right – the Adonis move is a major coup for Osborne

Are others waiting to follow the ex-LAB cabinet minister?

It has been pointed out very strongly overnight that Lord Adonis has not left the Labour Party. Maybe. But instead of being a Labour peer he will in future sit with the crossbenchers in the House of Lords which is a big move.

You can understand some of the frustration for Adonis. While he was an education minister under Tony Blair he played a major part in the development of the school academies programme – something that is now totally out of line with the new leadership.

Then there must have been the disappointment over the battle for the party’s nomination for London mayor, Adonis was a key member of the Tessa Jowell team which of course got defeated by Sadiq Khan in an election held at the same time as the party leader one.

The move by Osborne to offer him the job reminds me very much of what Gordon Brown did on becoming the Prime Minister in June 2007. Then under a program called GOAT – Government of all the Talents – he brought in some leading non Labour players and made them ministers within his government.

Big question now is whether we will see other previous leading Labour figures also making a move in some form. One thing the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader has done is to cause several within the party to reappraise their own career positions. To them the chances of Labour returning to government anytime soon must seem remote and if that was to happen they’d regard their prospects for a job as very slim.

Osborne is ideally placed to exploit this to the full.

Mike Smithson

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