The resignation of education secretary Estelle Morris is going to result in a cabinet reshuffle that...
The resignation of education secretary Estelle Morris is going to result in a cabinet reshuffle that could upset the timing of the pensions Green Paper and other reports or reviews due before Christmas.
Although it is impossible to know exactly who Tony Blair wants to put into the vacant post that the Department of Education, it is clear it will have to be a heavy hitter who can deal with the knocks that led to Morris' resignation yesterday.
There are two ministers of state at the Department of Education who could be promoted: David Milibrand and Margaret Hodge.
However, it is not clear if either will be favoured, particularly as some political pundits are blaming poor advice as one of the reasons Morris got into this year's troubles with A-level results and the like.
And that could mean a person such as secretary to the Treasury Ruth Kelly or trade and industry secretary Patricia Hewitt are shuffled over, if Blair also wants to maintain a relative balance of male to female top ministers.
Morris has proved that a background in education is no guarantee of success in running her huge department, which means Blair could be casting the net wide.
Moving people out of or into positions at the Treasury and Department of Work and Pensions could hardly come at a worse time given the pre-Budget statement due from chancellor Gordon Brown next month, and the hugely important pensions Green Paper.
With the UK now populated by more people aged over 60 than 16 or younger, and the continued shift away from defined benefits schemes, pensions have rocketed to a far higher position on the political agenda.
Blair must be aware of this, and, hopefully, will leave those ministers currently in place to get on with the task at hand rather than put a stopper in the process by forcing a new relationship on the civil servants tasked with drawing up the plans for pension reforms.
So far today the Cabinet Office and Tony Blair's spokesman have given nothing away, which means the speculation is set to continue until the reshuffle is officially announced.
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