The Hodge dodge

August 7, 1998

Disgruntled ministers ousted in last week's reshuffle could do worse than step into Margaret Hodge's shoes as chair of the potentially powerful education and employment select committee.

After all Mrs Hodge was rumoured to have been just as peeved when overlooked for ministerial position following Labour's landslide election victory. Yet after 14 months at the head of a committee whose reports rocked few government boats Mrs Hodge has received promotion to junior employment minister.

It is now up to the Commons' selection committee to appoint Mrs Hodge's successor. One Westminster insider said "it is not unknown for retiring ministers to be appointed to chair select committees". Whether Frank Field or his former boss Harriet Harman make it on to any shortlists is another matter.

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