Will the “Guyanese Mafia” survive the Brown cut?

By John Mair
HBN London

LONDON, England, June 29, 2007 – British politics is in flux. Gordon Brown, having replaced Tony Blair as Labor Leader last Sunday yesterday replaced him as prime minister of Britain.

That means he has the right to make a government of his own choice – all one hundred plus ministers. The two “Guyanese Mafia” members – Valerie Amos and David Lammy – at the top of the slippery pole of politics look as though they may be high risk cases in any reshuffle.

PM Brown is expected to announce the highest level of government – his cabinet- today. A night of the long knives is forecast with many high level Blairist casualties.

Among those expected to not get the nod from Gordon is Baroness Valerie Amos, the Guyanese-born Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal.

She has held that cabinet job for four years and before that was the International Development Secretary also in the Cabinet. Lady Amos is the first black woman to lead the Lords-the Upper House of the British Parliament. Her promotions to high office were all made by outgoing premier Tony Blair and that counts against her in the notoriously tribal world of senior Labor Party politics.

However, Downing Street tonight confirmed that Brown has nominated Lady Amos, the leader of the Lords, as the UK’s candidate for the newly established post of EU special representative to the African Union.

In her acceptance letter to the prime minister, Lady Amos said she was “delighted” to accept the post and was proud of her role as the prime minister’s personal representative to the G8 on Africa.

PM Brown said he was sorry to see her leave government but wished her the “very best for the future in what I believe will be a very important role for our country.”

Amos’ replacement as Leader of the Lords is forecast to be Baroness Patricia Scotland, currently Minister of Justice and also of Caribbean origin. She is from Dominica.

Also at some risk is Guyanese origin Libraries Minister David Lammy MP. His boss-the Secretary of State for Culture and Media, Tessa Jowell- is said to be high up on the casualty list. Lammy may go with her. This is his third ministerial post in the Labor government.

So the “Guyanese mafia” could be a trifle less influential by Thursday evening within the top echelons of British politics. Both ministers will, however, even if out of office, retain their seats in the Houses of Lords and Commons (Copyright Hardbeatnews.com)