Trying to interpret the implications of reshuffles among the political spokesmen (male and female, and while we’re at it: Helle Thorning Schmidt is the chairman of the Social Democrats) of the parliamentary groups can often be fun.
In the Conservative People’s Party former party leader Pia Christmas-Møller – who raised eyebrows when she called for a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty before the election – got the boot as political spokesman and was replaced by former Social Affairs and Consumer Affairs minister Henriette Kjær. This is a comeback for Kjær who was fired as minister in February 2005 after details about her private economy had been made public. (Not the stuff that would make headlines in the UK press, but still embarrassing for the party).
The Danish People’s Party replaced Jesper Langballe as integration policy spokesman with Peter Skaarup who will be assisted by party leader Pia Kjærsgaard in contacts with the new Integration Minister Birthe Rønn Hornbech. Langballe famously lost a civil court case against Rønn Hornbech related to remarks he had made about Islam and European Muslims, but the move should perhaps rather be interpreted as an attempt to keep a close watch on the new minister and signal that the DPP will not accept any major changes in refugee and immigration policy. Mr. Skaarup has been part of Mrs. Kjærsgaard’s – and the DPP’s – inner circle since the party was founded.