Downing Street Needs Ideological Wonks

Guido has been marking various comings and goings in Downing Street and at the Policy Unit – supposedly the key ideas engine of a reforming government. Now run by non-political, technocratic, civil servants not known for radicalism. Chris Brown, referred to yesterday, is the education adviser whilst Paul Kirby and Kris Murrin run the unit. It seems to Guido that the Policy Unit could do with some outside talent.

The most obvious candidate to run a centre-right government’s policy unit would be Neil O’Brien who heads Policy Exchange, the biggest centre-right think-tank that basically supplanted the old, now slimmed-down, Conservative Research Department as the main source of Tory policy thinking.  James O’Shaughnessy, the former Policy Unit head, was ex-Policy Exchange…

mark_littlewood

Given we have a coalition government perhaps a former LibDem wonk might be appropriate. Mark Littlewood, now at the Institute of Economic Affairs, is the most orange of Orange Bookers and a former LibDem head of spin with a reputation for shaking things up. Coincidentally they have both been spotted coming and going to Downing Street…




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Stella Creasy at Jewish Labour fringe event…

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