By Tim Montgomerie
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Photograph courtesy of GQ.
Louise Bagshawe was well known to ConHome through her always provocative and passionate weekly column. Her final column at the end of 2007 was entitled 'In praise of Margaret Thatcher'.
Now Louise Mensch following her second marriage to the Metallica manager, Peter Mensch, she was one of the most quoted Tory MPs during 2011 and one of just three women MPs to be nominated as 'backbencher of the year' by ConHome readers. 2012 may well be even bigger for her as she hopes to fulfil her ambition to join the frontbench. Even if that ambition goes unfulfilled her glamour and intelligence will ensure she stays a hit at the political box office.
She kicks off this year with a photoshoot and interview for the February edition of GQ (in newsagents on Thursday). In her interview with Matthew d'Ancona, entitled "Iron Maiden", she talks about her frustration at not being promoted:
“I’m not even a PPS [parliamentary private secretary, the lowest rung on the government ladder]! It’s kind of annoying. What do I have to do to get promoted over here? Am I being disloyal? I don’t know. I need to sit down with my whip and say, ‘What do I have to do?’ No, every time there is a raft of PPS promotions and my name is not on them, I have to sit down and think, ‘What am I doing wrong?’”
And what would she most like to do if David Cameron calls and invites her into the Coalition?
“I would very much like to have a crack at International Development. The other major issue that I have is I want to see a Veterans Administration Department. I made my maiden speech on it. We are the only country in the English-speaking world not to have a dedicated Veterans Administration Department, we have a tiny agency which is a bit rubbish and doesn’t have a proper coordinating function. There are lots of bits of help, like the extra mental health care available to veterans, but we rely principally on Help For Heroes and the British Legion. I’m not asking for something like the American Department of Veterans Affairs, which has a budget of $80bn, but something more like a Canadian or Australian thing, where there is a co-ordinating function so the right hand knows what the left hand is doing."
A very good cause.
10am: Paul Goodman puts together a list of other good candidates for promotion.