Number 10 Wants CCHQ Moved Out of London

ConservativeHome are reporting No. 10 is looking to move CCHQ out of its current Westminster base of 4 Matthew Parker Street. The Downing Street plan is to move it to the north or the midlands – only running “a small office in London but maybe up by King’s Cross.” To clarify, we’re talking about CCHQ – not GCHQ as Adam Boulton thought

CCHQ staff have not responded well to the news. Guido hears the immediate response from multiple staff within Matthew Parker Street was “I’m not moving out of f**king London.” Staff tell Guido the general response is “like wtf”…

In true Cummings style, ConHome were told the new central office should have “good train links, well placed in political terms”, as well as being “reasonably close to a university with good maths/physics departments” for a top-class data team. No one tell Carole…

UPDATE: Guido hears that Blue Collar Conservatives have been lobbying for a move similar to this behind the scenes, calling for a a personnel shakeup not just a displacement of the same London set. Last week Eddie Hughes made a public call for it…

mdi-timer 15th January 2020 @ 9:56 am 15th Jan 2020 @ 9:56 am mdi-comment Comments
Friday Caption Contest: Get Brexit Bum Edition

Entries in the comments…

mdi-timer 10th January 2020 @ 1:30 pm 10th Jan 2020 @ 1:30 pm mdi-comment Comments
Lobby Settle into New Venue

First day back at school for the Westminster press pack meant a new classroom. Namely, the changes brought in by Dominic Cummings in the so-called ‘war’ between No. 10 and the Lobby, which saw the Downing Street briefing session moved from the usual venue into the heart of Downing Street. Downing Street’s estimation of the Lobby was clear to see from the way they had about a dozen staffers guide them up one flight of stairs to the room…

The new venue, inside No. 9 Downing Street’s old Privy Council courtroom, which was once used by DExEU in its early days. The PM’s team sat at the front, with the Lobby in neat, silent rows. The atmosphere is very different…

Cummings was also in attendance, standing at the back and joking to one member of the press he was “just here to see the new regime”. He left after about 20 minutes and unfortunately missed the PM’s spokesperson avoiding an answer when asked whether the PM is looking forward to Downing Street being staffed by losers and misfits.

Despite the initial fears of the Lobby, phones weren’t confiscated, with very minimal security in trying to get into the street. Lobby hacks will get used to the new regime…

mdi-timer 6th January 2020 @ 1:58 pm 6th Jan 2020 @ 1:58 pm mdi-comment Comments
Cummings Declares War on the Lobby

While Cummings’s blog post last night focussed on the impending shake-up of employment in Whitehall, Guido also learns of big reforms to the way for Lobby-Downing Street relations, including changes to the venue Lobby briefings happen and the ability to bring in advisers to talk to hacks rather than just the official spokespeople. The lobby are claiming this is designed not to work and is tantamount to a declaration of war from Downing Street…

Not only are the Lobby angry at such short notice, but there are big concerns it will make it harder for people to attend, may restrict phone access in the huddles and No. 10 could refuse access to journalists it doesn’t like.

Read the message, and concerns, in full below:

Read More

mdi-timer 3rd January 2020 @ 11:30 am 3rd Jan 2020 @ 11:30 am mdi-comment Comments
Cummings Launches Hiring Spree

It’s early evening on the first day back to work of 2020 and Westminster for the most part remains quiet, until Cummings’s blog whirs back into life to launch a seismic hiring scheme to sweep away the cobwebs of Whitehall. Bring us your tired, your poor, your weirdos and misfits…

In the 3,000 word blog, Cummings puts the call out for a new generation of non-humanities graduates to move into the offices of power, including:

  • Data scientists and software developers
  • Economists
  • Policy experts
  • Project managers
  • Communication experts
  • Junior researchers one of whom will also be my personal assistant
  • Weirdos and misfits with odd skills

You can read the typically anarchic blog in full here, however some choice quotes include:

a new government with a significant majority and little need to worry about short-term unpopularity while trying to make rapid progress with long-term problems.

Those applying must watch Bret Victor’s talks and study Dynamic Land. If this excites you, then apply; if not, then don’t

One of you will be a sort of personal assistant to me for a year — this will involve a mix of very interesting work and lots of uninteresting trivia that makes my life easier which you won’t enjoy. You will not have weekday date nights, you will sacrifice many weekends — frankly it will hard having a boy/girlfriend at all. It will be exhausting but interesting and if you cut it you will be involved in things at the age of ~21 that most people never see.

I don’t want confident public school bluffers. I want people who are much brighter than me who can work in an extreme environment. If you play office politics, you will be discovered and immediately binned

political journalists are still behind the 2016 tech, hence why so many fell for Carole’s conspiracy theories.

People in SW1 talk a lot about ‘diversity’ but they rarely mean ‘true cognitive diversity’. They are usually babbling about ‘gender identity diversity blah blah’. What SW1 needs is not more drivel about ‘identity’ and ‘diversity’ from Oxbridge humanities graduates but more genuine cognitive diversity.

We need some true wild cards, artists, people who never went to university and fought their way out of an appalling hell hole, weirdos from William Gibson novels like that girl hired by Bigend as a brand ‘diviner’ who feels sick at the sight of Tommy Hilfiger or that Chinese-Cuban free runner from a crime family hired by the KGB. If you want to figure out what characters around Putin might do, or how international criminal gangs might exploit holes in our border security, you don’t want more Oxbridge English graduates who chat about Lacan at dinner parties with TV producers and spread fake news about fake news.

Cummings concludes by saying:

I will use this blog to throw out ideas. It’s important when dealing with large organisations to dart around at different levels, not be stuck with formal hierarchies. It will seem chaotic and ‘not proper No10 process’ to some. But the point of this government is to do things differently and better and this always looks messy

The revolution will be blogged…

mdi-timer 2nd January 2020 @ 6:39 pm 2nd Jan 2020 @ 6:39 pm mdi-comment Comments
Did Karl Turner Threaten Cummings?

The nauseating discourse in Westminster about the Prime Minister’s language yesterday led to Hull MP Karl Turner spotting Dominic Cummings in PCH and walking over to berate him. All conveniently filmed by one of Karl’s staffers…

At the very end of the clip, the subtitling stops – however some keen-eared Twitter users picked up the MP say one last parting thing to the PM’s Senior Adviser

Some reckon they can hear Karl saying he wants Cummings ‘in a ditch, dead’, which, of course, would undermine his rant about using more moderated language. Watch above and make up your own mind…

mdi-timer 27th September 2019 @ 9:47 am 27th Sep 2019 @ 9:47 am mdi-comment Comments
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