Reshuffle: Tristram Hunt replaces Stephen Twigg as shadow education secretary

7th October 2013 at 16:32

Tristram Hunt has been appointed as Labour's education spokesperson, taking over from Stephen Twigg (pictured above) who lost his seat on the front bench during the party's shadow Cabinet reshuffle this afternoon.

Mr Hunt, who only became an MP in 2010, was deputising for Mr Twigg as shadow minister for young people having been promoted to the education team earlier this year. 

The member for Stoke-on-Trent (below) is perhaps better known  for his career as a TV historian, and is likely to attract a degree of controversy due to his being privately schooled at University College School in Hampstead, north London. 

In replacing Mr Twigg, he will become the fourth Labour education spokesperson to oppose Michael Gove in less than three and a half years. 

Mr Twigg was appointed as Labour’s education spokesperson back in October 2011 taking over from a short and relatively fruitless 12 month stint by Andy Burnham.

The MP for Liverpool and West Derby enjoys one of the safest seats in the country, but struggled to make his mark against Mr Gove.

Despite having worked as schools minister under Tony Blair, Mr Twigg (pictured) has faced mounting criticism for his inability to land a sizeable hit on Mr Gove.  

Mr Twigg was even the subject of a continuing twitter campaign called #GoTwiggGo, which effectively called on the politician to resign and which was led, on the whole, by NUT members. 

One user called The Govertaker ‏tweeted on hearing rumours that Mr Twigg was in line to lose his position in the shadow Cabinet said: “Very pleased to hear that Twigg could be sacked from the Shadow cabinet he has failed to oppose Gove at every opportunity #GoTwiggGo”.

The 46-year-old had spent the majority of his tenure as shadow education secretary working on vocational education, focusing on what he described as the “forgotten 50 per cent” of young people who do not go to university.  

Meanwhile, one of the most eye-catching announcements from the coalition’s reshuffle did not involve a politician at all, but instead centred on the news that Dominic Cummings, Mr Gove’s special adviser and closest political confidante, was leaving his role in January.

It is understood Mr Cummings is considering a number of different options, including being involved in setting up a free school.  

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