Wonk Watch: October Edition

With an election just 43 days away, it’s not just political parties that are beefing up. The Westminster think tank scene is seeing changes too, with Policy Exchange in particular kicking back against the great wonk brain drain caused by Number 10’s think tank hiring spree.

Guido can reveal that PX is beefing up its domestic policy team by hiring Kwasi Kwarteng’s former BEIS SpAd Iain Mansfield to be their new Head of Education, Skills, Science and Innovation. Readers might remember Mansfield as the Cambridge physicist turned star civil servant who won the IEA’s coveted €100,000 Brexit Prize back in 2014. It’s a good time for Brexiteers in wonkland…

Mansfield joins former Hancock SpAd Richard Sloggett, who has joined the think tank as a Senior Fellow working on health policy, including social care. Policy Exchange have also announced that Guido alumnus and Telegraph columnist Juliet Samuel as well as the broadcaster Trevor Phillips, will be joining as Senior Fellows. On the flip side Guido understands that PX now have ten alumni in Government, including Number 10’s Munira Mirza, Chief Secretary Rishi Sunak, and Lords Leader Baroness Evans…

Meanwhile, the Adam Smith Institute has snapped up Charlotte Kude as their new Head of Government Affairs. Kude formerly worked for staunch Brexiteer MEP David Campbell-Bannerman in the European Parliament and Salmond slaying Colin Clark in the House of Commons. Welcome to Westminster’s Wonkland…

Over at the Taxpayers’ Alliance, Sam Packer has joined to beef up the media team. Sam joins from doing PR at Grayling, after working on campaigns in UK and US. Darwin Friend has been hired as a researcher. Formerly a research assistant in Parliament, Darwin will now be applying his forensic eye to ramping up TPA FOI programme. Recent Nottingham grad and part-time ballet dancer Freya Stear has joined as Operations Assistant.

mdi-timer 30th October 2019 @ 3:38 pm 30th Oct 2019 @ 3:38 pm mdi-comment Comments
IEA Brexit Prizewinner Appointed Science and Universities SpAd

The SpAd List continues to be filled up with people with excellent free-market, free-thinking pedigrees. Iain Mansfield, a former FCO man in Manila, who won the IEA’s coveted Brexit Prize a whole half-decade ago in 2014 for his ‘Openness, not Isolation’ Brexit blueprint for an “open, prosperous and globally engaged UK that is eminently achievable” is joining Jo Johnson at BEIS to work on the science and universities brief. He’s since written a number of very sensible articles on ConHome

Sadly for the IEA it doesn’t technically bump them up in the SpAd think tank league table, with the TaxPayers’ Alliance still holding a commanding lead. However it’s yet another sign of the positive, outward-looking way the Government is approaching Brexit…

mdi-timer 13th August 2019 @ 4:39 pm 13th Aug 2019 @ 4:39 pm mdi-comment Comments