Thursday, 20 May 2010

The disturbing case of the missing Shadows

Don't expect too much excitement in Parliament over the thin gruel for Transport contained in today's Programme for Government.

With the LibDems joining the Tories on the government benches it leaves only Labour MPs to hold ConDem transport ministers to account.

Fortunately Labour MPs that previously held transport portfolios moved seemlessly into Shadow roles once the new administration took office.

At least they would have moved seemlessly if there were any left.

Of Labour's four former transport ministers at the General Election one is in the Lords (Andrew Adonis), two were defenestrated by the electorate (Clark and Mole) leaving just one remaining in the Commons (Sadiq Kahn).

Having one Shadow in the Commons to face off a team of four ministers, including the Secretary of State, is less than ideal.

In the normal course of events this democratic deficit will be addressed when Labour selects its new leader at Party Conference, whereupon the division of Shadow spoils can recommence.

However, that's four months away and clearly today's Shadow Transport Light is neither good for scrutiny of the executive nor for users of Britain's transport network.

It's not even as if there is any shortage of Labour MPs who are knowledgeable or passionate about transport; why four even turned up at King's Cross yesterday to welcome an Adelante!

So quickly beefing up Labour's transport team in the Commons shouldn't be a problem

Perhaps Ms Harman might care to address soonish?