Now that Mark Littlewood has announced he’s stepping down as the Institute of Economic Affair’s Director General, one of the top jobs in wonk world is up for grabs. It is a high profile gig which will inevitably attract interest from all of Westminster’s brightest free marketeers. Littlewood steered the ship for 14 years; whoever comes next will have a lot to live up to. As well as formulating policies the IEA has incubated and nurtured free market talent – an important part of its role now the universities churn out ideologically uniform leftists. The job requires a mixture of talents: a policy guru with executive competence and a touch of media showmanship.
Here are some of the potential runners and riders…
The IEA is not without home grown internal candidates:
The IEA are accepting applications now, so wonks should dust off their CVs…
N.B: The list above is not hierarchical. It is (mostly) arbitrary. Write that cover letter, Liz.
With the London mayoral election now less than a year away (!), second rate Tory hopefuls have started jockeying for position to take on incumbent Sadiq Khan. Guido presents an exhausted racecard.
Out of the gates in a flash, early frontrunner Samuel Kasumu was chomping at the bit to declare his candidacy and has claimed some thoroughbred backers, including Priti Patel, Grant Shapps and Steve Baker. As the former advisor to Boris Johnson nails his colours to the YIMBY mast:
“The Tories are in danger of turning our back on Thatcher’s legacy and our Party’s homeownership principles. It is vital for our future that we continue efforts to get more homes built.”
Time will tell if Kasumu has the stamina.
Next in line to the throne, Susan Hall, optimistically put her name forward to deliver the self-declared “common sense” pitch. Hall is a tough on crime trope, with a pledge to form a new Met Police unit focused on burglars, muggers and thieves. Susan wistfully reflected:
“Not too long ago, London was a safer, happier and more tolerant city. It can be that again. If I am your candidate, we will get there.”
London’s silent majority?
Outside bet Nick Rogers is sculpting a ‘cool’ campaign that promises to “stand up for millennial Londoners”. The Conservative’s spokesman for transport in City Hall has promised a “manifesto for renters” and to axe ULEZ expansion. Former special constable Rogers has adopted the mantra:
“Who better to stand up for millennial Londoners than a millennial Londoner?”
It’s bold, you’ve got to give it that.
‘Boff for London’ left the paddock and joined the pack today. Andrew Boff, London Assembly member since 2008 and former leader of the City Hall Conservatives, is running on a bumper manifesto to make London safer, scrap ULEZ expansion, restore local policing and build homes. Boffin, who ran his own IT support company, eloquently wrote:
“My promise to every London Conservative if they select me is to bring all levels of our Party together in my campaign, so we not only defeat Sadiq Khan but reconnect with people and communities across the capital, winning their trust and keeping it.”
Nawww… anyway, who’s next?
After teasing that he was “considering” and then “still considering” running, Paul Scully has put us out of our misery and entered the gladiatorial arena that is the Tory London Mayor race. The Minister for London is tipped as a favourite with odds sure to shorten at the bookies and is understood to be running on a ticket of housing, scrapping ULEZ expansion, and Met Police bolstering. Bingo!
One time No. 10 aide Daniel Korski is thought to be planning a bid, while Kit Malthouse has refused to deny a potential mayoral challenge. Other names floating around are Shaun Bailey, Justine Greening and Rob Rinder.
Applications close May 24 when the list will be trimmed to 8 before being cut further by a committee to 2 or 3 candidates on 4 June. Voting then opens between 4 July and 18 July. First past the post!
UPDATE: Friend of Stephen Lawrence and former councillor, Duwayne Brooks has been in touch to say he is also in the running. Again.
UPDATE II: Dan Korski will formally launch his campaign at 9am on Tuesday, 16th May.
Dominic Raab’s Civil Service-secured resignation this morning leaves big shoes to fill in the Ministry of Justice. As a big name Rishi-backer, with evident willingness to take on the blob, Rishi will want to get Raab’s replacement right. Here are some of the front-runners in any mini Ri-shuffle…
Place your bets…
LBC’s longstanding Political Editor Theo Usherwood has announced he’s standing down for family reasons, leaving a gap at the top of the station’s news team. LBC has grown massively in the last few years, with Global willing to stump up serious cash for the likes of Andrew Marr, Emily Maitlis, Jon Sopel and Lewis Goodall. Not to mention the pocket change for David Lammy…
The question of who might replace Usherwood, or at least become the latest hack to join the Global roster on a lucrative contract, is already doing the rounds. An internal appointment is being considered. Guido hears Lewis Goodall was offered the role, although he’s turned it down because he’s much happier (and probably better remunerated) hosting the News Agents. Ben Kentish, considered a rising star and currently the station’s Westminster Editor, is also a potential candidate. Then there are the external options…
Kate Ferguson was reportedly in Global’s sights, although she only took on the Political Editor gig at the Sun on Sunday last summer. Martine Croxall, who presented her final BBC News bulletin last Friday, was spotted at the station’s Leicester Square headquarters recently – though she’s a newsreader, not a political reporter. She is, at least, looking for more work after being axed from the BBC News primary lineup. The biggest name Guido hears the top brass have an interest in, however, does have the requisite experience on the political beat. Sky’s Sam Coates was spotted by a co-conspirator in the Global offices this week, though when Guido called Sam he made it very clear he is not commenting… could he be after the big money broadcast / podcast package?
The currently invisible on the channel Darren McCaffrey’s impending departure from GB News means the plum political editor’s job is up for grabs. Speculation is already rife over who will take over the leading role at the UK’s second-biggest dedicated news channel…
The Mirror’s Political Editor job is a much-prized title for any high-flying, ambitious and – most importantly – pro-Labour political hacks. Now Pippa’s moved aside in favour of The Guardian – a paper in need of a regular SW1 scoop-getter – Guido’s turned his attention to who might be next in line for the star prize. Runners and riders currently within the Mirror family are highlighted in red…