>I know that nobody would ever have anticipated the need to replace David Laws, but there was a huge amount of surprise last night on Twitter even from Liberal Democrats, that Danny Alexander rather than Chris Huhne or Jeremy Browne was chosen to replace him.
To me, Danny was the obvious choice. He is about as close an ally of Nick’s as it is possible to be. He was Nick’s Chief of Staff, and as such has first hand experience of the management of change within the party. Nick put him in charge of the manifesto, so he has an understanding of what all the various departments of government do. David Laws is such a hard act to follow, but I’m sure Danny has the required skills. He also impressed the Tories, Osbourne, Hague, Letwin and David Cameron throughout the coaltion negotiations and it was he and Letwin who brought the full Coalition Agreement together in just 9 days.
I can now say I was part of the team that approved the Chief Secretary to the Treasury as a Parliamentary candidate.
I was amused by some people, Labour leaderrship contender Ed Balls among them suggesting that the fact that Danny’s former employment with Britain in Europe made him a “very curious choice”.
Ok,let’s inject some realism into this. I can “exclusively reveal” that just cos we have a pro-European in a Cabinet position, that we won’t have joined the Euro by Friday, or in fact any Friday in the next 5 years.
Danny, as I’ve already pointed out, was the co-author of the coalition agreement wich unequivocallly says:
We agree that Britain will not join or prepare to join the Euro in this Parliament.
So, you eurosceptic scaremongers (and that seems to include the Labour Party), you can’t really get clearer than that.
Danny’s appointment may be a surprise to some, but I think he’ll be well suited to the job of Chief Secretary.