Good week: A very good week for Lord Ashcroft who re-emerges as one of the great powers in the Conservative Party. As we reported on Friday, the former Tory Treasurer will now have a desk at CCHQ from behind which he’ll direct the marginal seats campaign, opinion research, ‘Campaign North’ and the work of party agents. George Osborne also emerged a big winner of the week – gaining oversight of General Election planning.
David Cameron had a good week, too. The reshuffle smacked of A-list politics – particularly the appointment of Sayeeda Warsi – but the Brown bounce has deteriorated to being little more than a big blip (hat-tip to Tory T) and he beat the new PM twice in the Commons – once responding to Brown’s statement on the Constitution and then at PMQs.
William Hague overtakes David Davis as members’ favourite member of the shadow cabinet.
Tony Lit. Lots of good coverage of the Tories’ Ealing Southall by-election effort. Every report from the constituency suggests that there’s a real buzz about the Grant Shapps-led campaign.
Andrew Porter – who has been appointed the new Political Editor of The Daily Telegraph.
Bad week: Hugo Swire for being sacked from the shadow cabinet – probably because of the museums charging row.
The non-elevation of Ed Vaizey to the shadow cabinet is also put down to his alleged role in the whole museums business. It can only be a matter of time before Mr Vaizey joins the party’s top table table however.
Right turn? David Cameron seemed a little more right-wing this week. In his first parliamentary encounter with Gordon Brown he chose to emphasise broken promises on tax, the broken promise on an EU Treaty referendum and English Votes for English Laws. At PMQs there was lots of talk of border police and action against extremists. Good stuff!
Issue of the week: Will he or won’t he? Boris won’t rule out running for Mayor. His now likely bid is the talk of the Westminster Village.
U-turn of the week: Digby Jones. The new Labour minister was considering running as Tory candidate for Mayor just a few months ago.
What’s next? The coming week is set to be dominated by discussion of Iain Duncan Smith’s social justice report and talk of family policy…