Downing Street Deckchairs and Mid-Term Migration

Telegraph newbie Donata Huggins has broken the rumour that the Taxpayers’ Alliance founder Matthew Elliott is off to Downing Street. Guido understands it is definitely not a done deal, though Elliott has been in discussions with the likes of Ed Llewellyn, Rohan Silva and Steve Hilton since as far back as January about taking on an external relations role. It is the same job that Tim Montgomerie was approached about in December and in fact Montgomerie recommended Elliott to Downing Street. The role will focus on building policy coalitions so that the government can be prepared for or better still avoid getting into unexpected fights like they did on the health bill. Elliott has been spotted going in and out of Downing Street regularly.

As Guido mentioned earlier there is a big re-organisation looming. Policy Exchange think-tank boss Neil O’Brien – a much tipped potential Downing Street recruit – is adamant he is happy where he is and definitely not going anywhere imminently. Word is that Andrew Cooper could be about to make an exit to go back to Populus to cash in ahead of a sale of the pollster in the not too distant future. Guido also hears that Hilton may not be the only Steve in the building making an exit, though Rohan Silva is staying despite reports to the contrary. Guido understands that pressure is being put on staffers to declare one way or the other whether they are going soon, or staying in for the long haul. What will be playing on many Downing Street denizens minds is that a mid-term exit puts staffers at the peak of  their commercial value…



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