From Cummings to Cupcakes at the DfE

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Right now over at the Department for Education members of the civil service blob are eating cupcakes with the new Secretary of State Nicky Morgan’s SpAds in her office. Quite a change from when Dominic Cummings took a flame thrower to the educational establishment’s blob under Gove…

Former Crosby Deputy Lands SpAd Role

Former lobbyist Chris Wilkins has been hired as Nicky Morgan’s SpAd, after she hid in her office as Gove’s old spinners were booted out. According to Wilkins’ old employers, Populus:

“Chris started life as policy adviser and speech writer at Conservative Central Office for successive Conservative Leaders (2000-05) and other senior Conservatives including David Davis, Andrew Lansley and Theresa May. During the 2005 election campaign he served as Head of Brand and Advertising”

He was also claims – though no one seems to remember him – to have been the Assistant Campaign Director to one Lynton Crosby in the 2005 election. Whatever happened to that guy?

Ex-May SpAd Cunningham Joins Centre For Social Justice

Ousted Theresa May SpAd Fiona Cunningham has joined the Centre for Social Justice – the think tank set up by IDS:

“The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) is delighted to announce the appointment of Fiona Cunningham. Fiona is joining the CSJ’s senior team as Associate Director for Modern Slavery.  Fiona worked at the Home Office as a Special Adviser to the Home Secretary, Theresa May, for over four years. During her time at the Home Office, she was heavily involved in police reform, immigration reform and bringing forward a Modern Slavery Bill, the first of its kind in Europe.”

When Cunningham was forced out post-terror row, Labour’s Frank Field told the Commons that Cunningham was an ‘immediate hero’ for her work on getting the the Modern Slavery Bill on the Home Office agenda. A cynic would say it’s a useful resting post for a SpAd whose work with their boss is not yet done…

 

Year of Code’s Lottie Dexter is Matt Hancock’s New SpAd

Lots of people were very mean about the Year of Code when its director Lottie Dexter admitted that she was unable to code on Newsnight, but was learning. Well it turns out that the campaign’s mantra – that learning to code is a ticket to higher places – really is true. Just 4 months ago Lottie told Paxman:

“Over this year I’m going to see exactly what I can achieve, so who knows I might be the next Zuckerberg in 12 months time.”

Not quite, but Guido hears she is off to fill the newly appointed position of Matthew Hancock’s special adviser…

Former Miliband Insider Defects to the Government

In yesterday’s Sun on Sunday column Guido exclusively revealed that Ed Miliband’s former speechwriter Phil Taylor has sensationally defected to the government, becoming a political adviser to LibDem justice minister Simon Hughes. Taylor, who worked at the heart of Miliband’s leadership campaign in 2010, tells Guido he believes it would be “a disaster” if his old boss Ed wins a majority in 2015, because Labour’s economic policy is “nonsense”. Lifting the lid on the divisions at the top of the party, Taylor says Labour is still blighted by “Gordon Brown type leadership”, warning that “Miliband­-Balls is just as bad as the Blair-­Brown era, everything has to be agreed by both of them and signed off by both of them. Miliband is too weak to stand up for himself.” Taylor is an experienced Westminster operator having advised ministers in the last Labour government and serving in opposition as a spin­doctor for shadow cabinet minister Maria Eagle until earlier this year. He blames the Shadow Chancellor for Labour’s woes: “I fell out with Ed Balls because Labour’s economic policy is nonsense. I tried to push through policies on cuts but Balls blocked them.

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Elsewhere, it’s a Code Red Save Ed situation in the rest of the weekend papers. The Sunday Times is particularly brutal, quoting one of Miliband’s inner circle, when asked what they would do if he became PM, as replying: “I’d get the hell out of there as fast as I could“. A Labour frontbencher twists the knife: “We communicate in a language most people neither speak nor understand“. Meanwhile in the Express a Labour MP reports “It is back to the Michael Foot era, if not worse, in terms of capability and the ability to lead” while in the Guardian a frontbencher warns “We are at the mercy of Brown people who lost it for us last time“. Labour spinners like John McTernan are insisting in a panglossian way that Miliband is the victim of “bullying” from his enemies in the press, despite the most damaging quotes coming from Labour insiders…

Daily Mail Offer Cummings £5,000 For Gove Tell-All

Guido understands that Andrew Pierce has let it be known that the Mail is offering Dominic Cummings £5,000 for a tell-all op-ed for the Saturday paper.

They want 2,000 words from Gove’s former SpAd, who the PM last night attacked as a “career psychopath”.

Could the Daily Mail be attempting to make mischief at the expense of their leading columnist’s husband?

Ex-Cameron SpAd: Cummings is Right

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Following Dominic Cummings’ latest grenade/intervention yesterday, a former Special Adviser to the Prime Minister has added his voice to criticism of the No. 10 operation. Sean Worth, who spent two years advising Dave, writes this morning that “Downing Street lacks grip, direction and calibre” and that “beneath the theatre” of Cummings’ attack “is a kernel of truth”.

“It’s certainly the case that Number 10 hasn’t given the machinery of government anything like the political steer of either the Blair or Thatcher administrations, for example.”

Dr. Worth adds that the current model of coalition is to blame, arguing it has been “tested to absolute bankruptcy“. He concludes:

“Forming a coalition in 2010 that would share power on every front of decision-making will, I believe, come to be viewed as a serious mistake – one not to be repeated if we end up with another coalition next May.”

This is becoming a theme…

Is Dom Cummings #Winning?

The last tweet from the once prolific parody @SteveHiltonGuru account, four days ago, was a generous response to former Gove SpAd and social media connoisseur Dom Cummings:

An appointment made even more unlikely by Cummings piling into No.10 in the Times this morning, not least calling the PM’s chief of staff Ed Llewellyn “a classic third-rate suck-up-kick-down sycophant presiding over a shambolic court”. Who else has been the author of some similarly colourful criticism of Llewellyn over the years?

What a remarkable coincidence. Hashtag winning…

Quote of the Day

Former Gove SpAd Dom Cummings, on David Cameron:

“As Bismarck said about Napoleon III, Cameron is a sphinx without a riddle. Everyone is trying to find the secret of David Cameron but he is exactly what he appears to

[…]

+ READ MORE +

May SpAd Drove Dre Mad

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It’s increasingly rare that Craig Oliver has anything to smile about, but he’ll be happy with the exit of Fi Cunningham, who vocalised what most of the SpAds think about the Downing Street Director of Comms. One ‘pal’ told this […]

+ READ MORE +

Rich’s Monday Morning View

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Theresa May’s SpAd Fiona Cunningham Quits Over Gove Spat

You can buy the original artwork here.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Cabinet Fall Out Over SpAds Campaigning in Newark

Guido hears there was a bit of a barney at the political cabinet last Tuesday. The PM made it perfectly clear that he expects all of his colleagues to pull their weight in the Newark by-election and one claims that […]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Miliband is asked if he knows what ‘Yolo’ means by Time Out:

EM“No. What does it mean?

TO: “It stands for You Only Live Once.”

EM: “Is that right? That is a good philosophy for politics! It’s about a sense of adventure and doing what you want. Wow! I’ll use it from now on!”

TO: “Please don’t.”

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