ConservativeHome has learnt that Danny Kruger has resigned as Chief Leader Writer at The Daily Telegraph to become special adviser to David Cameron. Danny Kruger will have responsibility for big occasion speeches and for ensuring that the leader’s office and Oliver Letwin closely co-ordinate policy development. ConservativeHome has reported on recent failures of the leader’s kitchen cabinet to involve key party figures in policy announcements.
Danny’s appointment will be welcomed by the right of the party. Danny is a convinced Eurosceptic, a social conservative and one of the driving forces behind Direct Democracy‘s localisation agenda. His appointment will bring some balance to the leader’s office that, with the exception of Desmond Swayne, is currently dominated by centrists. Edward Llewellyn, for example, the leader’s highly capable chief of staff previously worked for Paddy Ashdown and Chris Patten. Dougie Smith, the leader’s principal speechwriter, is a leading moderniser.
Danny is not a right-winger in the Heffer mould, however. Danny has been a leading supporter of Iain Duncan Smith’s Centre for Social Justice and is also supportive of the leader’s green agenda. It is probably the case that he has been unhappy with The Telegraph’s increasingly strident line. Simon Heffer and Jeff Randall have been leading regular attacks on Project Cameron and last week’s YouGov poll – which gave the Tories a steadyish 5% lead – was headlined as disappointing by the newspaper’s political team.
Some will worry that Danny is not a safe pair of hands. He was forced to resign as candidate for Sedgefield before the last election because he talked of the need for a process of ‘creative destruction’ in the public services. Danny’s enthusiasm for Schumpeterian economics was not shared by an enraged Michael Howard.
As Danny moves into the leader’s office, Jonathan Hellewell moves out. Mr Hellewell, David Cameron’s private secretary, is moving to St James’s Palace to work for Prince Charles.