Yesterday CCHQ announced that Helen Whately and Tom Pursglove will be joining the Party’s 13-strong team of vice-chairmen, taking up responsibility for women and young people respectively.
They will be replacing Maria Caulfield and Ben Bradley, both of whom resigned over their opposition to the Prime Minister’s Chequers proposals for leaving the EU. How do their replacements feel on the subject?
Whately voted Remain but represents a seat which voted almost 59 per cent Leave and has said Britain should ‘just get on’ with leaving, and Pursglove is a committed Eurosceptic who helped to set up Grassroots Out. The MP for Corby is an especially interesting appointment, given that he is accepting an office vacated by a Brexiteer.
For those who (inexplicably) aren’t keeping track of them all, here are the rest of the vice-chairs:
- David Brownlow (Campaigning)
- Kemi Badenoch (Candidates)
- Rehman Chishti (Communities)
- Helen Grant (Communities)
- Dominic Johnson (Finance)
- Andrew Jones (Business Engagement)
- Marcus Jones (Local Government)
- James Morris (Training and Development)
- Chris Skidmore (Policy)
- Paul Scully (London)
- Alec Shelbrooke (International)
These offices, alongside other posts such as trade envoys, special ambassadors, and so on, provide an unofficial avenue for the Prime Minister to expand the de facto payroll vote – a practice which has shown no sign of abating in the years we have written about it.