James Forsyth

Cameron tries to bring the campaign into government

Cameron tries to bring the campaign into government
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Tomorrow’s Queen’s Speech will be almost cut and pasted from the Tory manifesto. Partly, this is because Number 10 believes that the Salisbury convention dictates that the House of Lords will not block policies that have a manifesto mandate. But it is also because the Tories wish to carry on in office where they left off in the campaign. They believe that continuing with both the message and the discipline they exhibited in the election is crucial to their future success.

This desire to bring the campaign into government can be seen in Cameron’s latest staff appointments too. Giles Kenningham, who has been in charge of the highly effective CCHQ press operation for the last two and a bit years, is moving to Downing Street to become one of Cameron’s special advisers. Given how closely integrated the CCHQ and Number 10 media operations were, this should be a relatively seamless transition. Ben Mascall, who was the deputy head of press, moves to the Ministry of Defence to work for Michael Fallon, one of Cameron’s most reliable ministers.

The Downing Street ‘grid’, which determines which departments are allowed to announce what when, will be taken over by Laura Trott. Trott was previously a member of the Number 10 policy unit and is the architect of the party’s popular childcare offer. While in the policy unit, Daniel Korski will move up to become Camilla Cavendish’s deputy with Chris Lockwood returning to The Economist.

These changes are, of course, of most interest to those in SW1 rather than outside. But with our politics becoming ever more presidential, the staffing and structures of Downing Street make a huge difference to how effective—or not—a government is.