Francis Maude has just finished addressing the staff at CCHQ – to announce a long-awaited restructuring – and he has just phoned me to go through the main changes:

  • The desk officers will be relocated to parliament with, for example, the treasury desk officer moving into George Osborne’s office (and so on).  Exactly the same level of capacity will be available to the frontbench teams in support of their parliamentary duties.  Some desk officers may become part of the Parliamentary Resources Unit (a research capacity also located in parliament and funded by Tory MPs from their allowances).
  • John Glen – reporting directly to Oliver Letwin – is expected to oversee the vital policy group teams and the emergence of a coherent set of policy commitments.  This policy set-up will probably inherit the Conservative Research Department title.
  • George Bridges, who chairs the 8.30am morning meeting, will run a strengthened political unit.  The political unit will be responsible for opposition research, strategic briefing of parliamentarians, refinement of key messages, briefing for PMQs, rapid rebuttal and close cooperation with the media team and leader’s office.

The press office will become the media team/ office and will be more focused on broadcasters and regional media.

Nick Pisani – who was recently appointed from BBC1’s Question Time – will oversee strategic presentation and major events.

No new changes have been made to the campaigns capacity.

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