Guido’s Loss is Mogg’s Gain

Guido can confirm that our news editor and resident grammarian, Hugh Bennett, is joining the government as Jacob Rees Mogg’s SpAd. He will be helping the Leader of the House get Brexit through the Commons. His unflappable calmness under pressure will be tested in the coming weeks…

Hugh joined Guido from Brexit Central last year, before that he worked on the Vote Leave campaign, so he is used to working with Dominic Cummings. Many of you will have become familiar with him from his many TV appearances putting the case for Brexit calmly and with an unrivaled grasp of the details. He will be uncompromising in making sure Brexit happens on October 31.

When Hugh was head-hunted to Guido he made it clear that it was his intention to eventually become a SpAd. At the time he was worried that working at Guido might be an obstacle to his ambition. Given he is the third current government SpAd to have toiled in the Guido newsroom, his fears were clearly unfounded…

To keep up with all the latest SpAd hirings and firings check:

mdi-timer 26th August 2019 @ 10:14 am 26th Aug 2019 @ 10:14 am mdi-comment Comments
SpAd Update: Think Tank Rank

As Guido revealed on the SpAd List at the end of last week, think tank supremos Emma Barr and Rupert Reid have started working for Grant Shapps at Transport, moving from the Centre for Policy Studies and Policy Exchange respectively. Policy Exchange is now giving the TPA a real run for its money in Guido’s alumni chart…

Guido can also reveal that legal boffin Rajiv Shah has joined experienced SpAd Peter Cardwell in the MoJ too. Timothy era May veteran Chris Brannigan has joined the team in Number 10 too, and former Parliamentary assistant to Scottish Secretary Alister Jack, William Saunders has been promoted to become his Special Adviser.

UPDATE: Tees Valley Metro Mayor’s SpAd, Cameron Brown, has been hired as Jake Berry’s new advisor, and former Theresa May adviser Sara Rajeswaran has been hired by Theresa Villiers at DEFRA. Keep up with the continuously updated list here:

Email any additions to…

mdi-timer 19th August 2019 @ 11:25 am 19th Aug 2019 @ 11:25 am 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
SpAd List Latest: Priti Goes Wild

The TaxPayers’ Alliance have stormed into an even more commanding lead in the SpAd Think Tank league table with the news that their former Research Director Alex Wild is joining the Home Office as Priti Patel’s spinner. You can almost hear the steam coming out of the ‘Who Funds You’ brigade’s ears from here…

Guido can bring you another round of updates as the SpAd List slowly gets filled in. Going to Alok Sharma at DFID are Will Holloway, formerly at BEIS with Greg Clark, and Natasha Adkins who moves from No 10. Geraint Evans is staying with Alun Cairns in the Welsh Office, while Elliot Roy is moving from the Scotland Office to No 10. Focus on the Union…

Sophia True formely of CCHQ and briefly SpAd to Mel Stride is going to work with Nicky Morgan at DCMS, while Tom Skinner is also moving from CCHQ to join Shelley Williams-Walker in the No 10 events team. Get in touch with any updates as they happen…

UPDATE: Guido hears of a few more moves (or lack of moves) – Jonathan Hellewell is staying in the faith and community outreach role in No 10, while Marcus Natale is joining the No 10 briefing team from CCHQ. Tim Pitt stays in the Treasury to help with transition, Jess Prestidge doesn’t have to move far from CCHQ to work with Tory Party Chairman James Cleverly. Former Brokenshire SpAd Peter Cardwell is moving to the MoJ with Robert Buckland. More updates as they happen…

mdi-timer 6th August 2019 @ 12:17 pm 6th Aug 2019 @ 12:17 pm mdi-comment Comments
Cummings Orders SpAds to Take Back Control of Whitehall

Contrary to speculation last night, the much anticipated early morning meeting with Dominic Cummings did not turn out to be a cull of Remainer SpAds. Instead SpAds were given their “marching orders” to go back to their Departments and knock them into shape for Brexit, and warned that Philip Hammond/Greg Clark-style anti-Brexit antics would not be tolerated. Taking back control of Whitehall…

SpAds have been instructed to interrogate their Departments’ levels of no-deal readiness and report any issues back to Downing Street sooner rather than later. Any notion that Downing Street isn’t taking no deal preparations 100% seriously is out the window now.

Meanwhile Remainers’ latest idea to try to stop No Deal is to attempt to force an election – which Boris can delay until November anyway – and then get Mark Sedwill to ask Boris nicely not to go through with No Deal. Cummings will be quaking in his boots…

Here’s the SpAd list as it stands:

mdi-timer 5th August 2019 @ 10:27 am 5th Aug 2019 @ 10:27 am mdi-comment Comments
Government of the Wonks: Think Tanks Take Over Government

Following last week’s dream Cabinet reshuffle, the good news for free marketeers and lovers of liberty has kept coming as new SpAd appointments have gradually trickled out. Free market think tanks are now very handsomely represented in Government. So far Guido has pinpointed the following former citizens of wonkland who are now helping to run the show:

  • Sophie Jarvis: Adam Smith Institute -> DIT
  • Danny Kruger: Centre for Policy Studies, Legatum Institute -> No 10
  • Nerissa Chesterfield: Institute of Economic Affairs -> DIT
  • Steph Lis: Institute of Economic Affairs -> DExEU
  • Katherine Howell: New Schools Network -> House of Lords
  • Henry Newman: Open Europe -> Cabinet Office
  • Munira Mirza: Policy Exchange -> No 10
  • Blair Gibbs: TaxPayers’ Alliance, Policy Exchange, VolteFace -> No 10
  • Sonia Khan: TaxPayers’ Alliance -> HMT
  • Robert Oxley: TaxPayers’ Alliance -> No 10
  • James Price: TaxPayers’ Alliance -> House of Lords
  • Alex Wild: TaxPayers’ Alliance -> Home Office
  • Chloe Westley: TaxPayers’ Alliance -> No 10
  • Eamonn Butler: Adam Smith Institute -> Freeports Advisory Panel
  • Tom Clougherty: ASI, Centre for Policy Studies -> Freeports Advisory Panel

(n.b. some of these are historic, many SpAds have done other things in between.)

As things stand it’s the Taxpayers’ Alliance at the head of the leaderboard with six* alumni now in government. The SpAd List is starting to take shape although there are many positions still to be filled. Get in touch with updates as they happen…

UPDATE: The TaxPayers’ Alliance moves from five to six as Alex Wild joins Priti Patel’s team.

mdi-timer 2nd August 2019 @ 2:00 pm 2nd Aug 2019 @ 2:00 pm mdi-comment Comments
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