By Paul Goodman
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- Further to Tim Montgomerie's report earlier this morning, Conservative MPs and others are asking whether the main driver of the move was the Liberal Democrats' desire to get Hayes out of DECC – though they will find Michael Fallon no pushover: the very opposite – or David Cameron's wish to get him into Downing Street.
- If the latter is the case, a further question arises – namely, does the Prime Minister now feel that his position with part of his own party is so troubled as to justify a small reshuffle? If so, is the move a sign of strength or weakness?
- As one of the founding members of Cornerstone, the gregarious Hayes is not in a bad position to make overtures to the centre-right of the party. But he isn't on easy terms with all of it, let alone other parts of the Parliamentary Party.
- And as the tweets above indicate, there is irritation among some MPs with an interest in energy policy at Hayes being moved out of DECC. After all, he was moved to that department in order to "deliver our people a win on wind farms" – as Cameron is reported to have told him.