LBC’s Tom Swarbrick New Number 10 Broadcast Chief

SPADS

Theresa May hires another journalist to join her Downing Street team – LBC chief correspondent and presenter Tom Swarbrick is to be the new Number 10 head of broadcast. Big move for one of the brightest young up-and-coming journalists around. Getting the new PM on telly would be a start judging by her disappearing act in the first 50 days…

Send any updates to team@order-order.com

May Hires New Press SpAd

SPADS

Theresa May has hired Patrick McLoughlin’s spinner Tim Smith as her final Downing Street press SpAd. Another alumnus of the CCHQ press office, Smith has been a SpAd at Transport for the last year, taking a short sabbatical to fight the good fight during Zac’s battle against Sadiq. Smith going to Number 10 means the Tory chairman’s chief of staff job is up for grabs…

Send any updates to team@order-order.com

SpAd List: New Appointments

SPADS

A few more updates to our nearly-complete SpAd List. Sajid Javid has hired Carrie Symonds as his media SpAd at DCLG – Symonds is a former Head of Broadcast at CCHQ and most recently was a spinner for Whitto at DCMS, she’s well-liked in the Lobby and has a good relationship with broadcasters so is a smart hire for Saj. Simon Glasson, who was one of George Osborne’s many Treasury SpAds, will be Amber Rudd’s third SpAd at the Home Office. Emma Boon is Chris Grayling’s new SpAd at Transport.

Send any updates to team@order-order.com

No Cap on SpAd Salaries

SPADS

This morning’s Times reported that special advisers’ salaries are to be capped at £72,000, a very low bar that would not only rule out talented candidates, it would mean current SpAds getting a pay cut. Guido is told that no such cap will be enforced. A Downing Street source says:

“It is not true that there is a new cap on special adviser salaries. All special advisers will be appointed on merit and paid according to their experience and responsibilities. The rules have not changed.”

Guido also understands that reports each Secretary of State will be limited to two SpAds each are wide of the mark. Some ministers will be allowed larger teams. Someone has been giving some naughty negative briefings about the new regime… 

Project Fear Spinner to Be Brexit SpAd

SPADS

Osborne’s former aide and Project Fear spinmeister James Chapman is to be David Davis’ SpAd at the new Brexit department. Chappers hasn’t been replying to Guido’s texts but the former Daily Mail political editor’s eyebrow-raising move from arch-Remain cheerleader to Brexit adviser is now confirmed. The rumoured £72,000 salary cap for aides has caused colleagues to speculate he’ll be on around half what he was earning at the Mail, a bit of a comedown. It will certainly surprise many Leavers that a prominent Remainer will be taking such a key role – his staunch pro-Remain views are still up on his Twitter accountHas he seen the light?

See the SpAd List in full here.

Sky’s Poppy Trowbridge to Be Chancellor’s SpAd

poppy

Guido understands Sky News correspondent Poppy Trowbridge has been appointed as the new Special Adviser to the Chancellor. Poppy will be a recognisable face to many readers, she has reported on business and consumer affairs for Sky for the last four years. Now she is moving to the Treasury after being poached by Philip Hammond. Congratulations Poppy, though another journalist over to the dark side…

Send any updates to team@order-order.com

Tory Press Chief to Be Home Secretary’s SpAd

SPADS

Some more SpAd movements: Guido hears Tory Director of Communications Amy Fisher is returning to government as a Special Adviser to Home Secretary Amber Rudd. Fisher was Chris Grayling’s SpAd before heading up the press operation at CCHQ after the election. She had to put out more than her share of fires in a busy 12 months and was a formidable opponent, so is a smart hire for the Home Office. See Guido’s SpAd List in full below:

Send any updates to team@order-order.com

May Hires Top IoD Wonk

SPADS

Theresa May has hired Institute of Directors wonk Jimmy McLoughlin to lead Downing Street’s business relations. McLoughlin, who worked on May’s leadership campaign, will replace Cameron’s arch-Remain SpAd Dan Korski. It’s a smart hire – May’s ‘reforming capitalism’ shtick means she’ll need help bolstering relations and McLoughlin is one of the most likeable people in SW1. Here’s the SpAd list as it stands:

Send any further updates to team@order-order.com

SpAd List: Team May Taking Shape

SPADS

Theresa May’s team of Downing Street SpAds is slowly taking shape. She is is taking her former Home Office advisers Alex Dawson, who used to head up CRD, and Will Tanner, a policy aide, with her to Number 10. They will be joined by Nick Hargrave, who used to run CRD’s political section. Former Osborne aide Victoria Crawford is quitting the private sector to do policy at DfE. Transport SpAd Simon Burton is off to work in the whips office.

Notable gaps on our SpAd list include David Davis’ Brexit department, which has yet to hire. Send any updates to team@order-order.com

Press Gallery Chairman Craig Woodhouse New DCMS SpAd

A raft of new SpAd appointments is expected imminently and Guido understands the headline move will be Craig Woodhouse joining Karen Bradley at DCMS. It’s a smart hire for the new Culture Secretary to poach an industry insider – Woodhouse is a newspaper veteran, the respected chairman of the Press Gallery and chief political correspondent at The Sun. He is well-liked by MPs of all parties which will help in a notoriously adversarial brief. The long-suffering Sheffield Wednesday fan might even be able to pick up a freebie or two along the way. The Lobby loses yet another leading name to SpAd-dom…

See Guido’s SpAd List in full here.

SpAd List: New Appointments

SPADS

Downing Street sources indicate the final SpAd List will not be released for some weeks, so Guido’s spreadsheet is the only place to stay up to date. Since our last update Osborne’s widely-respected former SpAd Neil O’Brien has been kept on to do industrial strategy in Number 10. Damian Green has retained Flora Rose at DWP and signed up Matt Hancock’s old SpAd Lottie Dexter. Vote Leave spinner Rob Oxley teams up once again with Priti Patel at DfID. Another Vote Leave alumnus, their broadcast chief Lee Cain, is expected to join Leadsom at Defra. Rachel Wolf is reportedly leaving No.10 despite initially being kept on.

The Times says May will be purging SpAds to cut costs after the numbers rocketed under Dave, apparently a limit of two per Cabinet minister. That will go down like a cup of cold sick with the likes of Boris, Davis and Fox. Appointments are being vetted by May’s chiefs of staff Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill. Good luck – they are going to be ruthless… 

SpAd List Taking Shape

SPADS

Theresa May’s Downing Street team is slowly taking shape – her former SpAd and Vote Leave alumnus Stephen Parkinson is to be given a role. All of David Cameron’s SpAds were told to clear their desks and just two have been brought back into the fold, Rachel Wolf and super-SpAd Sheridan Westlake. New Secretaries of State are taking their time appointing advisers, meetings have been taking place over the last few days and names should start to trickle out next week:

If you know of any appointments Guido doesn’t have on his list, get in touch

Tom Watson Hires Steve Coogan’s 19 Year-Old Daughter as Aide

clare coogan cole

Tom Watson has hired Steve Coogan’s 19 year-old daughter as his parliamentary aide. Clare Coogan Cole is Coogan’s daughter by his ex-girlfriend Anna Cole, who dumped him after he admitted cheating on her with model Nancy Sorrell and two other beauties. Coke ‘n hookers aficionado Coogan became close friends with fellow enemy-of-press-freedom Watson during their time campaigning for Hacked Off. He went on to star in several high profile Labour campaigns including Watson’s Save the NHS tour. Generous of Watson to repay the favour with a paid job for Coogan’s daughter, who no doubt was hired on merit in an open, full and fair recruitment process. A taxpayer-funded favour for his multi-millionaire Murdophobe mate… up the workers!

SpAd List: May Names New Team

A new government means a new SpAd list and Guido’s handy resource of political appointments is beginning to take shape. Theresa May has appointed her former SpAds Fiona Hill (formerly Cunningham) and Nick Timothy as her Joint Chiefs of Staff. Her former spin doctor and PR guru Katie Perrior becomes Director of Communications. Mail on Sunday journalist turned media spokeswoman Liz Sanderson is Head of Features. Vote Leave alumnus and ex-IDS aide Lizzie Loudon will be Press Secretary. John Godfrey is the new Number 10 Director of Policy.

Ministers who survived the reshuffle are likely to keep hold of their bag-carriers so Guido has included them on the list for the time being. The high turnover of ministers means there are a lot of talented SpAds spending their evenings in Westminster pubs plotting their next move. New departments mean there are more places to fill. Help us fill in the gaps as and when appointments are made by emailing team@order-order.com

Exodus of Labour Spinners

kevin

Jeremy Corbyn’s Head of Media Kevin Slocombe is leaving the leader’s office to go and spin for Bristol mayor Marvin Rees. Comrade Kevin (above right) has been the no-bullsh*t voice of reason among the madness of Jezza’s operation, one of the few Corbynistas who commanded the respect of SW1. 10 months in the bunker is enough to make anyone want a quieter life.

Labour HQ Head of Press Kieren Walters is also packing his bags, meaning Jez now needs a new top spinner for the leader’s office, a new head of press in Victoria Street, and a new Deputy Head of Press, after that role became vacant as well. In the meantime, good luck Seumas. Will the last spinner to leave Labour please turn out the lights?

SpAd Movements: Ex-IDS Aide Joins Vote Leave

Iain Duncan Smith’s Special Adviser Lizzie Loudon will continue to be a thorn in the Prime Minister’s side, she left government when IDS resigned and is now off to do press for Vote Leave. Well-respected by former colleagues, Lizzie has a proven track record at wrong-footing Downing Street. Which can only be good news for the Leave campaign.

Downing Street: Do As We Say, Not As We Do

Taxpayer-funded civil servants have been authorised by David Cameron to use public resources to campaign for Remain. Will advisers and officials working for ministers who back Leave have the same freedom? They have tonight been issued a strict ban on their activities by the Cabinet Secretary Jeremy Heywood.

Civil servants working in the departments of Grayling, Whitto, IDS etc have been barred from giving their ministers briefings supporting their position on the EU. They are banned from providing speech material, and will be denied access to government papers relating to the referendum. Special advisers working for Leave ministers are banned from supporting their boss’ position in office hours. They are also banned from using annual leave on campaign activity. Pro-Remain ministers are meanwhile allowed to use public resources to campaign.

Amusingly, Heywood writes that these restrictions mean:

“The principles of impartiality and the proper use of public resources continue to apply to all government communications activity, including activity related to the EU referendum.”

This is laughable – Downing Street civil servants like Chris Hopkins are authorised to use taxpayer-funded resources to campaign for Remain, yet civil servants and SpAds for Eurosceptic ministers who want to do the same thing for the Leave campaign are banned from doing so. This is the exact opposite of “the principles of impartiality and the proper use of public resources”. It’s “do as we say, not as we do…”

Clegg’s Astronomical SpAd Bill Hypocrisy

You’d have thought Nick Clegg might have had enough of everyone thinking he is a massive hypocrite, apparently not. Clegg has just been in front of a Lords committee to slag off high pay for Special Advisers. He’s outraged, apparently:

“We’ve now got the almost loopy situation where the Chancellor is whacking up the pay of his Special Advisers an astronomical amount. Special Advisers in government are now being paid far, far, much more money than they were in the past… Double standards doesn’t even scratch the surface.”

Is he serious?

Clegg is so outraged about SpAd pay that he bunged his aide Ryan Coetzee £110,000-a-year out of the public purse.

He also ordered the taxpayer to pay his SpAd Jonny Oates £98,500-a-year.

Three more Clegg SpAds were on £80,000.

This was the 2013 FoI request revealing Clegg had a total of 15 SpAds costing the taxpayer an “astronomical” £1 million a year.

“Double standards doesn’t even scratch the surface…”

Corbyn Aide: I Think We Should Shoot Woodcock

Gavin Sibthorpe, above left, works in Jeremy Corbyn’s office as the Labour leader’s events officer. He is a relatively senior figure in the Labour leadership, and was named alongside Simon Fletcher and Andrew Fisher in the New Statesman’s Who’s Who of Corbyn’s team. Judging by his Instagram account, Sibthorpe will fit right in.

Under a screenshot of an email sent by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Shooting and Conservation last week, titled “Woodcock, to shoot or not to shoot?”, Sibthorpe (sibby_gav) couldn’t resist writing: “I think we should shoot”. Has this Corbyn aide taken up rural sports? Or could he possibly be talking about troublesome Labour moderate John Woodcock?

Geddit?

Guido is told this email has been widely circulated among Labour lefties making similar gags about their own MP. Best do it in private, comrades…

UPDATE: Woodcock responds:

Corbyn Seeks “Joined Up Approach” in Leader’s Office

Last week Jeremy Corbyn’s Director of Policy Neale Coleman resigned amid furious rows with Seumas Milne and Andrew Fisher, who allegedly shouted at him: “You are finished in here”. All is not well in the leader’s office, and there are rumours that Head of Strategy Kat Fletcher is also particularly unhappy.[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

In response to the news that Emily Thornberry described the Lib Dems as “like the Taliban” over their new revoke Article 50 Brexit policy, the former Lib Dem leader responded:

“Come on Emily, if we really were like a Middle East terrorist group, don’t you think Jeremy would’ve invited us to a conference fringe meeting before now?”

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