Rachel Whetstone, Howard’s attractive leggy political secretary can be seen bossing him along on the campaign trail, single but married to the job. Used to be Howard’s SpAd at the Home Office, before switching to doing PR for Noddy and Big Ears – must resist the temptation to compare her work for fantasy characters and… Known to journalists at The Times apparently as “the Cat in the Hat”, but Guido likes to think of her as “Puss in Boots”.
David Cameron, head of policy co-ordination, is allegedly being groomed by Howard to succeed him. Educated at Eton and Oxford, with several MPs in the family, but “Dave” styles himself as a fresh-faced cuddly new Tory. He is another key member of the Notting Hill Set, always on telly putting the Tory case, firmly but gently.
George Bridges, head of research and development, operates the “grid” (how very New Labour). Worked for John Major as a speechwriter (bet that is not on his CV) and was an editorial writer on The Times.
Guy Black, director of media. Former secretary of the Press Complaints Commission. Sharp dresser whose boyfriend is Mark Bolland, former aide to Prince Charles.
Stephen Sherbourne, chief of staff. The old queen in Victoria street, has worked for Edward Heath and Thatcher, as her political secretary. Ex-associate of Thatcher’s PR guru Sir Tim Bell.
Lynton Crosby, Australian election guru, his business card carries the motto: “When you give advice, seek to help, not to please.” The legend is that he brought John Howard from behind to victory on the sly, the reality is that John Howard had a few dodgy polls against him, but had led through most of the election. Crosby is good, but not a miracle worker.
Sheridan Westlake is an interesting character. He has overall responsibility for the Tory website – fact – his real name is Nick and he does not like to be asked about canvassing for old people’s votes (in Guildford). Ann Nunan is head of the computer department and oversees the techy side. But Guido is not sure who does the piss-poor emails, but he would like to know who is to blame. (Take a look at Zack’s emails, learn from ‘em.)
Lord Saatchi has had a lower profile in the media during the campaign proper, but the latest Blair smirk adverts “take the look off his face“ stuff is demon eyes all over again. Some reports of tension with Crosby. Steve Hilton is helping m’Lord out.
Liam Fox is on the box putting the case often. Guido doesn’t rate Fox and can’t believe that he sees himself as a potential successor to Howard. God help the Tories…
Andrew Rosindell heir to the mantle of Tebbit, is an extraordinary campaigner. Is becoming a left-wing hate figure, but Guido has money on him becoming Mayor of London in the future. One to watch.
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