Some thoughts on the Tory reshuffle…
1. This was described to me as an “election footing” reshuffle. It’s the explanation why Maude has gone – he represented the pre-election phase, apparently.
2. George Osborne is given powers for election co-ordinator. He has no experience in the field, and will face a formidable challenge from Douglas Alexander who does the same role for Labour but has been obsessing over the mechanics of elections for years.
3. Pauline Neville Jones has been appointed to Shadow Cabinet, pending her nomination for a peerage. So Cameron, too, can assemble team of all the talents (but you can perhaps say he started it)
4. Sayeeda Warsi, deputy chairman and Iraq war critic, lined up for the “Community Cohesion” post. Words fail me. See James’s post.
5. Eric Pickles promoted to “Communities and Local Government” (that’s two communities). It’s a reward for the very good local elections results that caused such confidence in Cameron HQ (in the days before the Brown steamroller started).
6. Caroline Spelman will be a controversial choice. When discussing her promotion with Tory MPs, all I’ve heard is expletives. I rather feel for Maude, who will be in charge of implementing the policy review that Oliver Letwin has been left in charge of.
7. Nick Herbert and Michael Gove both promoted. Expect another promotion for Mr Gove.
8. No promo for Boris. He keeps his existing job, as higher education spokesman, but now answers to Willetts.
9. Hugo Swire has been the ritualistic slaughter of an Old Etonian.
10. Andrew Porter, the 34-year-old deputy political editor of The Sun, is to replace George Jones as the Daily Telegraph’s political editor in October (an unrelated announcement. Andy is my predecessor as political editor of The Business magazine and a great journalist– my warmest congratulations to him. It’s the best job in the lobby.