New Number 10 Policy Board Job Allocation

Jobs for the new faces on the Number 10 policy board announced this afternoon:

  • Alun Cairns – environment, energy and local government
  • Andrea Leadsom – part of the public services brief
  • Nadhim Zahawi – economic affairs
  • Priti Patel – home affairs and constitution
  • Chris Skidmore – public services

Softening the blow of being overlooked in the reshuffle.

Via @monitoringuk

Let Them Wear Jumpers

New Deputy PMOS Scot Marchbank’s first lobby briefing went well then. His Marie Antoinette-esque answer to a question about whether families struggling to deal with rising energy bills should wear jumpers at home: “If people are giving that advice it is something they may wish to consider”. Quite a gaffe to begin with. You can see the Mirror splash already…

Sacked Tory MP’s Ex-Wife Does a Tim Loughton Publishes Text From DC’s Gatekeeper Kate Fall

It has been widely reported this morning that Fiona-Natasha Syms did not take the news of her ex-hubby Robert’s sacking as a Tory whip very well:

What has been missed by some, is the swiftly deleted picture of text message from Kate Fall that she posted, but not before it was caught by HuffPo:

There goes the knighthood.

Dowden’s Day Job Perks

dowden

Some rather “unsubtle” and “unsophisticated” politicking from Number 10’s Deputy Chief of Staff Oliver Dowden, who is trying to sew up the nomination for the safe Tory seat of Croydon South. Local co-conspirators tell Guido that Dowden has been calling local party figures who will have a say in the selection and dropping into conversation “oh the Prime Minister’s just walked in, fancy a chat?” before passing over the phone. Wary of this type of pressure, the other safe seat that is also selecting at the moment – Tonbridge and Malling – has opened up the decision to every registered voter in the area. 65,000 such phone calls suddenly gets a bit tricky.

Downing Street Revolving Doors LibDem Joanne Foster Out and Cooper on His Way

As Guido revealed in the Sun on Sunday Downing Street pollster Andrew Cooper is to leave No.10 shortly. It will be spun that he is going to continue helping out on a part-time basis when he goes back to his old firm Populus. Now the PM has Lynton Crosby on his team does he really need two pollsters? Especially since Cooper was the one who told Dave not to worry about UKIP because they would only be a flash in the pan…

Talking of  flashes in the pan, Joanne Foster, who has only been Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg’s gatekeeper for 2 years is also leaving to go to the lucrative world of lobbying with her now expanded list of government contacts. Ker-ching.

Labour Accuse Downing Street of Cracking Up

Labour attack dog Michael Dugher has upped the pressure on Hague after Guido’s revelation that it was the Foreign Secretary’s PPS that called Miliband a See You Next Tuesday over Syria. He told LabourList:

“There is a pattern of behaviour in David Cameron’s government. Whether that’s the rather stupid and puerile comments made on a regular basis by Michael Gove; the alleged foul-mouthed outbursts by William Hague’s parliamentary aide; or frankly the rather inept and unprofessional briefings from some very weak performing individuals who simply can’t take the pressure in Downing Street.”

Guido is not sure the sweary opinions about Miliband are exclusive to Downing Street, or even just the Tory party.

UPDATE: A government source hits back:

“This is laughable coming from the man whose only political achievement so far was acting as the mouthpiece for a failed PM who had one of the worst PR images in history. Now he’s just become a cut price version of Tom Watson.”

Ooooooh. Guido will report back on whether they’re going to take that.

Official: Government Ignore UN Loon’s Report

The report of this morning’s Lobby briefing claims “there was no audible reply” when the PM’s spokesman was asked if “the Government would be taking into account the views on housing and benefit policies from a Brazilian UN academic who ‘allegedly dabbled in witchcraft and allegedly made animal sacrifices to Karl Marx'”. Some people heard the reply though, Paul Waugh points out it was: “I think you’ve answered your own question.”

So that went well for the witchdoctor activist posing as an independent expert…

Number 10: “Miliband is a F***ing C***”

A government source tells the Times: “No 10 and the Foreign Office think Miliband is a f****** c*** and a copper-bottomed s***. The French hate him now and he’s got no chance of building an alliance with the US Democratic Party”. Why? Here is where things stand this morning. Miliband’s threat to oppose the government means the PM doesn’t have the numbers for military action. Today’s vote will now not authorise intervention, there will have to be a second vote next week if Cameron wants war. A case of Miliband outmanoeuvring Cameron or a victory for Parliament? Either way, he is just delaying having to actually make a decision.

This is the government’s motion for today:

motion

Click to enlarge.

It’s going to be a long one…

Sun’s Graeme Wilson New Downing Street Press Secretary

Craig Oliver has hired Sun deputy political editor Graeme Wilson as Downing Street’s new press secretary, reports James Forsyth. Normally sceptical Whitehall sources see it as an “excellent hire by Craig”, rare praise then. Gabby Bertin is also back, she becomes director of external relations.[…]

+ READ MORE +

New No.10 Head of News

The Number 10 comms team is getting beefed up with Scot Marchbank, the Head of News at the Ministry of Justice moving over to become Head of News and a deputy to Jean-Christophe Gray. A Whitehall source describes Marchbank, who cut his teeth at the Home Office as “hardcore…with a good reputation”.  […]

+ READ MORE +

Dave's Party Charm Offensive Continues

As Guido revealed in yesterday’s Sun column, it is not just Tory MPs who are on the receiving end of the PM’s summer charm offensive. Former Chairmen of the Conservative Party also got the Downing Street drinks party treatment. Current Chairman Grant Shapps and his disgruntled predecessor Sayeeda Warsi were joined recently by blasts from the past like Norman Tebbit, Cecil Parkinson, Norman Fowler, Chris Patten and Maurice Saatchi.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Dave’s Burgers

Nick Robinson was rather happy to disclose on the BBC that Dave is going to great lengths these days to keep his backbenchers sweet. Something Sun readers found out on Sunday:

“Nothing like a nice wet English barbecue to bring people together.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Dave Says Goodbye to Rohan

rohan
It was Rohan Silva’s leaving do on Monday. Rohan was the last remaining Downing Street SpAd in the radical mould of Steve Hilton. The father of Tech-City is off to EC1 to realise his inner tech-entrepreneur ambitions.

The PM spoke at his leaving do and said he was

“…not sure if this is a leaving do or a wake for James Forsyth’s column…”

Whatever could Dave have meant?[…]

+ READ MORE +

What a Difference Two Years Make

Late night?

Via @politicalpics
[…]

+ READ MORE +

New Downing Street SpAd Smashes Chumocracy

Those who claim you have to be friends with the Prime Minister for twenty years to get a job in Downing Street should note the arrival of  former Cathy Ashton spokesman Daniel Korski. Dave’s new Special Advisor focussing on “the global race” has smashed the chumocracy. […]

+ READ MORE +

Craig Told Put Family Before Cameron

Craig Oliver, the Prime Minister’s embattled Director of Communications, has been told by his friends to put his family before his job, lest his marriage go the way of other Downing Street denizens. Craig is married to the BBC News presenter Joanna Gosling, with whom he has three children.[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Sky’s Faisal Islam on the mood in Parliament at the moment:

“It’s a totally febrile atmosphere here. It’s kind of like Game of Thrones meets House of Cards – and if you chuck in the Labour Party – Laurel and Hardy too.”

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