Last week, in the aftermath of the vote-pairing fiasco, the Government started a reshuffle of the whips’ office by moving Stuart Andrew and Kelly Tolhurst to other departments.
Yesterday we got the other end of this process, with three existing whips moving upwards and three new faces joining the office as assistant whips. Mark Spencer is promoted to Comptroller of HM Household, with Andrew Stephenson taking his old position as Vice Chamberlain of the same.
Meanwhile, Mike Freer graduates from the Assistant Whips (he was the only one appointed before this January) to become a ‘Junior Lord of the Treasury’.
The three new assistant whips are Michelle Donelan, Jeremy Quin, and Iain Stewart. The former two are both members of the Class of 2015 (‘Cameron’s Children’), whereas Stewart was first elected in 2010. Quin is apparently taking his new role unpaid.
As we wrote last week, sources we have spoken to suggest that constantly shuffling the whips’ office undermines its efficacy, so hopefully this time Theresa May will give the new whips a chance to grow into the role.
Of course, the most substantial change is the one she hasn’t made.