Mad SpAd Jostling Climax

Despite promising to clamp down on the numbers, the list of new Special Advisers is steadily growing:

David Cameron
Chief of Staff: Ed Llewellyn, Deputy Chief of Staff: Kate Fall, Strategy Adviser: Steve Hilton. Policy Advisers: James O’Shaughnessy, Oliver Dowden, Tim Chatwin. Head of Strategic Comms: Mark Flanagan

No surprises here really except the retention of Mark Flanagan, a hangover from the old regime, who famously shot “that video” of Gordon smiling.

Nick Clegg
Special Advisers and media: Sean Kemp, Jonny Oates, Lena Pietsch and Chris Saunders

Oates was poached back by Clegg from Bell Pottinger. Very new politics. When blonde bombshell Lena Pietsch and Clegg don’t want the media to know what they are talking about they converse in German.

William Hague
Chief of Staff: Arminka Helic. National Security Adviser: Sir Peter Ricketts

Michael Gove
Special Adviser: Henry De Zoete

Gove’s SpAd was expected to be Dominic Cummings but the story goes that Coulson vetoed this. The reason it took Gove so long to be announced as Education Secretary was due to the fact he was in a locked battle. He told Couslon if he couldn’t have Cummings he wouldn’t take the job. Cummings told Gove not to be so daft, and left.

George Osborne
Special Advisers: Rupert Harrison, Eleanor Shawcross. Media: Ramesh Chhabra

As expected really. Eleanor Shawcross, a fellow St Paul’s alumnus and head-turner made the jump, but anyone know what happened to Rohan Silva?

Vince Cable
Special Adviser: Will de Peyer

The long-term Lib Dem treasury man was rewarded. Gone very quiet since election day.

Iain Duncan Smith
Special Adviser: Philippa Stroud

The voters of Sutton made it pretty clear that they didn’t want to send Stroud to Westminster. Without The Observer retracting their “gay-curing” story her appointment would not have been possible. A source in the DWP said “it’s common for newspapers to get a story wrong when their source is either wrong or lying, but it’s pretty worrying when a front-page story is based on a source that doesn’t exist.” Legal action is apparently ongoing.

Chris Huhne
Special Advisers: Duncan Brack & Joel Kenrick

A real left-wing grouping here. Despite his hippy tendencies Kenrick used to advise the CBI on climate change. Long term wonk Duncan Brack is most definately of the beards and sandal variety of Lib Dem.

Danny Alexander
Special Advisers: Willie Rennie and Alison Suttie

So nice of the Scotland Office to rescue the failed career of former Scottish MP Willie Rennie. He lost his seat at the beginning of the month but is back at the levers regardless.

David Laws
Special Adviser: Katie Waring

This is in no way a complete list but these things are very slow to be confirmed. Know more? What do you know about this lot? Drop Guido a line.




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Quote of the Day

David Cowling, the BBC’s head of political research, in an internal memo…

“It seems to me that the London bubble has to burst if there is to be any prospect of addressing the issues that have brought us to our current situation. There are many millions of people in the UK who do not enthuse about diversity and do not embrace metropolitan values yet do not consider themselves lesser human beings for all that. Until their values and opinions are acknowledged and respected, rather than ignored and despised, our present discord will persist. Because these discontents run very wide and very deep and the metropolitan political class, confronted by them, seems completely bewildered and at a loss about how to respond (“who are these ghastly people and where do they come from?” doesn’t really hack it). The 2016 EU referendum has witnessed the cashing in of some very bitter bankable grudges but I believe that, throughout this 2016 campaign, Europe has been the shadow not the substance.”

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