Tory Reshuffle : Howard Plays His Joker

George Osborne, the 33-year-old heir to a wallpaper fortune, is to face off against Gordon Brown – a chance for him to shine or fall flat on his face. Doc Fox becomes shadow foreign secretary and David Cameron gets education. Rifkind is up against Blunkett as work and pensions spokesman.

Michael Ancram goes to defence, ‘Two-Brains’ Willetts, gets to shadow the new government department of productivity, energy and industry (the most unlikely name for a department of the civil service). Alan Duncan goes to transport.

Francis Maude becomes party chairman – a position that will be handy for the modernisers, given that Francis is the moderniser par excellence. It will be interesting to see if C-Change (the provisional wing of Nicholas Boles’ Policy Exchange think tank) lines up differently to CWF in the leadership battle for the hearts and minds of the grassroots. Maude was involved with the establishment of Policy Exchange which has a Portillista agenda, and was not a million miles away from the wielders of the knives that were stuck in IDS’ back. CWF has a more Thatcherite / libertarian agenda. If ‘policy not personality’ is important, these pressure groups will be important. Guido suspects it will superficially be about policy and message, but really about personality and style.

Howard has adroitly given a number of front-runners a chance to shine. Big money went on the absent Hague today at the bookies – does somebody know something? David Davis is favourite, followed in order by Hague(?), David Cameron, Fox, Rifkind, Lansley, Osborne, Yeo, Letwin (rumoured in the City to be off back to Rothschilds). Teasy May, Ken Clarke, Duncan, Willets, Redwood, Damian Green, Ancram and Boris Johnson make up the rear.




Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

Nick Timothy on George Osborne’s latest:

“Evening Standard editorials will soon be shortlisted for the Booker Prize.”

Sponsors

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.
All Smiles After Cabinet All Smiles After Cabinet
Who’s The Eye’s Telegraph Mole? Who’s The Eye’s Telegraph Mole?
UK Green Lobby Funded by Anti-Immigrant Multi-Millionaire UK Green Lobby Funded by Anti-Immigrant Multi-Millionaire
Tory Glasto Hosted by Multi-Millionaire Gambling Magnate Tory Glasto Hosted by Multi-Millionaire Gambling Magnate
Hammond and Treasury “On Manoeuvres” Against Brexit Hammond and Treasury “On Manoeuvres” Against Brexit
Osborne Lands Job Number Seven Osborne Lands Job Number Seven
Civil Service ‘Not Really Preparing’ For No Deal Civil Service ‘Not Really Preparing’ For No Deal
Osborne’s Latest Duff Analysis Osborne’s Latest Duff Analysis
Corbynista Journo Banned from Conference Corbynista Journo Banned from Conference
Sheerman’s Shameless Shilling Sheerman’s Shameless Shilling
Carwyn Jones Picks a Winner Carwyn Jones Picks a Winner
Red Robbins: May’s Brexit Supremo is Soviet Sympathiser Red Robbins: May’s Brexit Supremo is Soviet Sympathiser
Owen Goes Full Brent Owen Goes Full Brent
What Caused Rachel Sylvester’s Volte Face? What Caused Rachel Sylvester’s Volte Face?
Labour Moderates Screwed Labour Moderates Screwed
WATCH Boris: “I’m Not Resigning” WATCH Boris: “I’m Not Resigning”
Corbynistas Seek Right to Suspend NEC Elections With “Venezuela Amendment” Corbynistas Seek Right to Suspend NEC Elections With “Venezuela Amendment”
Osborne Repents Osborne Repents
Meanwhile on Labour’s Facebook Forum Meanwhile on Labour’s Facebook Forum
Heywood Breaching Cabinet Manual by Bypassing Ministers Heywood Breaching Cabinet Manual by Bypassing Ministers