The next cabinet

Yesterday's Deputy Leadership election settles a few points. For one thing, we know that Harriet Harman will be Labour Party Chair, and probably Deputy PM. The latter is unimportant - if she does not have the role, no-one will. Hillary Benn's disappointing performance in the election - fourth place, behind Jon Cruddas, means there is no particular need to promote him. He is now much less likely to get the Foreign Office. Alan Johnston is still a major player. Brown will not be obliged to keep Hazel Blears in the cabinet, but probably will. If he drops a Blairite, it will probably be a man. The automatic departure of Blair, Prescott, Reid, Goldsmith and Armstrong, combined with the likely departure of Falconer, Hewitt and Becket gives him a great deal of room for manoeuvre.

Here are my predictions:

PM: Gordon Brown
Deputy PM Harriet Harman
Chancellor Jack Straw
Home Secretary Alan Johnson
Foreign Secretary Alistair Darling
Leader of the House Peter Hain
Justice David Milliband
Health Ed Balls
Environment Hillary Benn
Development Baroness Amos
Industry Des Browne
Defence Douglas Alexander
Culture John Hutton
Education Ed Milliband
Community Andrew Smith
Northern Ireland Hazel Blears
Transport Stephen Timms
Work & Pensions John Denham
Lords Neil Kinnock
Treasury Yvette Cooper
Chief Whip Nick Brown
Duchy of Lancaster Jacqui Smith

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