Thursday, August 15, 2013

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”.  Just that Press Secretary role to fill now….

Monday, July 15, 2013

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.

The old guard and more modern faces like Liam Fox and Theresa May – all of whom have done time in the Chairman’s seat – were on hand to offer advice, though Guido understands not all of it was greeted with enthusiasm.

No sign of Eric Pickles…

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

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. David Cameron has invited Tory MPs to an “informal barbecue” in the Number 10 rose garden on Thursday, following the annual official photograph in the Commons chamber. There will be no shortage of burgers available for mischievous colleagues. It’s all part of Downing Street’s drive to keep their backbenchers sweet before the crucial EU referendum vote on Friday. One rebel MP tells Guido Number 10 are “keeping us on a drip” of suspiciously enjoyable activities. While Dave plays good cop, party chairman Grant Shapps and bruising strategist Lynton Crosby have summoned all of the party to a meeting at Friday lunchtime, just incase they were not planning to come.”

A rare outbreak of unity today…

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

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?

What a Difference Two Years Make

Late night?

Via @politicalpics

Monday, June 24, 2013

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. He was only best man to Downing Street Chief of Staff Ed Llewellyn.

Monday, June 17, 2013

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. The unrelenting 24/7 pressure of his Downing Street job spinning for the PM is, Craig himself admits, “a lot of stress”…

Ironically David Cameron pledged in opposition “to make the UK the most family-friendly country in Europe” yet has seen the marriages of his former press secretary Gabby Bertin as well as that of his “gatekeeper” Kate Fall break up. Kate is the chillaxing PM’s hardworking deputy chief of staff. It looks like Osborne will need to find money in the budget to hire more staff to lighten the workload if Downing Street is to really be a family-friendly workplace.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Downing Street Deserters Update

With the mini-reshuffle on the cards for early next month keeping everyone well behaved, the joke doing the rounds of Tory MPs is that Claire Perry “is so far up the PM’s a**e she can almost see Matt Hancock’s shoes.” Play nice, kids…

It’s not just ministerial movements in the offing. As Guido revealed in yesterday’s Sun column, the PM’s press secretary Susie Squire is weighing up leaving Downing Street even if Gabby Bertin, for whom she is covering, does not return from maternity leave. It would be the perfect opportunity to bring in someone with some print experience who can command some respect amongst hacks, leaving Craig Oliver to do what he likes doing – dealing with the TV news. They couldn’t afford Guido, obviously…

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Google Have More Access to Dave Than Ministers, Says Minister

Scathing insight from BIS minister Viscount Younger on Google’s access to Number 10. As Dave was ushering Eric Schmidt out of the Downing Street back door yesterday, Younger was revealing all about how Google has better access to the PM than even some ministers:

“I’m very aware of [Google's] power, put it that way. I’ve also very aware that they have got access, for whatever reason, at higher levels than me at No. 10. They are a vociferous action group and a big company to put it bluntly, and are quite powerful.”

A relationship that isn’t going down too well with the Tory troops:

Unheard of for a non-Etonian to have such access.

Monday, May 20, 2013

John Hayes Calls Andy Coulson a “W***er”

After encouraging guests to be “as outrageous as possible” at a black-tie student dinner in Nottingham last Thursday, the PM’s Senior Parliamentary Adviser John Hayes called Andy Coulson a “w***er” during a conversation after his speech. As one attendee later blogged: “his honesty is most refreshing for politics, especially considering how he is in No.10.”

Hayes did not deny the remark when Guido spoke to him earlier, though claimed he did not recall uttering the words. Multiple sources in the room say otherwise. With their trial scheduled for September, w***ing was Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks’ least worry…


Seen Elsewhere

Why Pollsters Could Be Wrong | John McDermott
Cameron Faces Vote of No Confidence or Rebellion | FT
Cameron Faces Revolt Over ‘Vow’ | Sun
It’s Time to Speak for England | John Redwood
It Was Me Who Taped Howard Flight | John Woodcock
Indy Editor: We Will Stay Afloat | Press Gazette
English Don’t Want Scotland to Stay at Any Price | Dan Hodges
England Must Have Self-Government Too | Mark Wallace
Next Year’s Election Will Be the Dirtiest Ever | Speccie
Chicken Salmond Runs Away From Sun Cabbie | Sun
Scary No Messages Don’t Add Up | Sun


VOTER-RECALL
Find out more about PLMR


Gyles Brandreth writes in his memoirs:

“Sunday, May 10, 1998

Early start: appearing on Breakfast With Frost, to be broadcast from 11 Downing Street. The Chancellor [Gordon Brown] is grouchily amiable, but so earnest — and still biting his fingernails to the quick.

After the show, he took us upstairs to his flat. He lives above No 10, while Blair and family are in the No 11 duplex, which is bigger and more like a proper house.

I was intrigued that, when he took us into his bedroom, the Chancellor rather ostentatiously opened the built-in wardrobes, as if he wanted us to see the women’s frocks that were hanging in there.

They looked quite large, but I don’t think they belong to Gordon. I assume they belong to his girlfriend [Sarah Macaulay, who he later married].

I presume he was keen for us to know that he has one — and that she’s not a ‘beard’. I don’t think he does anything without calculation.”



The British media are Hunts says:

Now the SNP know how UKIP voters feel all the time.


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