Ministerial stability is important: it allows ministers to build up experience and maintain focus. The same could be said for Opposition frontbenchers, who have to balance long-term policy development with other commitments (like responding to media stories) and without the benefit of the Civil Service. The coming weeks could see big changes to the shadow cabinet, but change is a feature of any frontbench team as people are shuffled in and out. Just how stable was the Opposition frontbench under Ed Miliband during the 2010–15 Parliament? Only one Shadow Secretary of State remained in the same post for the whole of Ed Miliband’s leadership. Of all shadow secretaries of state only Sadiq Khan, Shadow Secretary of State for Justice, was in the same post when Ed Miliband appointed his first Shadow Cabinet in October 2010 and at the 2015 General Election. 12 shadow teams were headed by two different people during the Parliament, while there were five different Shadow Ministers for the Cabinet Office. Rosie Winterton, the chief whip, also served the full term, as did leader Ed Miliband and deputy leader (and shadow deputy prime minister) Harriet Harman. We can distinguish between forced reshuffles – where a resignation forces […]

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