Yvette Cooper’s Home Affairs Debut


BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 28:  Secretary o...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
After all the hoo-ha over Labour’s Shadow re-shuffle, VN thought we would check in on mover Yvette Cooper making her debut as Shadow Home Secretary in Home Office Questions. After her key role in the last Government, Cooper is obviously an accomplished dispatch box performer, and is probably now more in the debate than she would have been as Shadow Foreign Secretary.

Cooper asked her first question on policing, which meant the Minister Nick Herbert, not  Home Secretary Theresa May, answered. A bit of a mistake, and one she apologised for, as really she should have addressed the Home Secretary herself. Herbert gamely replied though, rather predictably quoting Cooper’s husband and predecessor Ed Balls back at her. VN suspects that that particular piece of parliamentary
fun will continue for a good few Home Office Questions to come.

Yvette Cooper then returned later in the session to ask Theresa May about Control Orders, describing the terrorism review as “shambolic. She obviously ignored the fact that she had been part of the government that had brought them in, and the fact that she couldn’t give a definite opinion on whether detention without charge should have been reduced to fourteen days. Theresa May welcomed Cooper to her new role,  mockingly pointing out that in the nine months that the Government had been in power, she had faced three Shadow Home Secretaries.

The session was though noticeable for Labour’s increasing attempts to paint the Coalition as soft on law and order, as numerous backbenchers talked about cuts to front line police, despite the government saying the cuts will come from middle and back office staff. This was all in order to wind up the Tory right, and show the Lib Dems as to weak for government, as well as keep the cuts narrative going.

Luckily in stepped Phillip Davies, demanding more CCTV, a DNA database, and lock up as many people as possible, to remind everyone exactly why civil liberties are important.

There might note have been many sparks today, but Cooper vs May is definitely one to watch. With her more reasoned tone and approach, when Yvette Cooper gets into the role, she may cause more problems for the Government that Ed Balls ever could.

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