Lynne Featherstone takes on Theresa May

November 5, 2014 9:46 AM
By Sal Brinton

Norman Baker's departure from the Home Office marks an exceptional four and a half years as a Minister. His term at the Dept of Transport meant that public transport had a champion against the Tory indifference. His year at the Home Office has produced the drugs report published last week. I understand he had to fight hard to get it published.

Lynne Featherstone's return to the Home Office is great news. She's achieved a very great deal as a Minister, delivering Same Sec Marriage, against (let's be polite) considerable odds and opposition,and the fight against FGM - a world-wide battle. I can't think of anyone better to take up the torch of liberty, fairness and tolerance in the Home Office, which isn't known for those principles.

Jenny Willott and Mark Harper's resignations give them the chance to focus on their seats, and that's good news. We need both of them back in the Commons next May. So I welcome Lindsey Northover's promotion to Minister in DfID, taking Lynne's role, and Sue Garden returns as a Lords Whip (which actually means Minister without Portfolio, covering three or four Government Departments). They both have excellent track records at the Lords Despatch Box. Lindsey did a great deal of work on the Same Sex Marriage Bill, and both she and Sue Garden's extensive departmental responsibilities have shown that they can master a brief quickly and effectively. If they can help take the burden off some of our MPs in the last few months of this Coalition, that can only be helpful.


Lynne and Sal at Federal Conference in Glasgow