Anthony Browne, Director of Policy Exchange for just eighteen months, is to step down and become Head of Policy for Boris Johnson. During his time at PX there was a doubling of staff numbers but a concern that the think tank became too close to Project Cameron.
Boris Johnson has issued this statement:
"I am delighted that Anthony is joining my team at City Hall. As a policy expert in the fields of environment, health and politics for the influential Policy Exchange and a former journalist on the Times and Observer, I am sure Anthony will be a valuable asset in helping to shape London’s future over the next four years".
And this from Anthony Browne himself:
“It is a real wrench to leave Policy Exchange, but the opportunity to develop policy for the first Conservative administration in London for over a quarter of a century was irresistible. I have lived in London for twenty years, and loved its extraordinary vibrancy and diversity from the day I moved here. It is the world’s greatest city, but we need to make sure that all Londoners can be part of its success. It is unacceptable that one of the world’s most affluent cities has such high unemployment, and such deep pockets of deprivation. I look forward to helping ensure that all Londoners are equipped to take advantage of the amazing opportunities it offers, and to help make London more liveable for all Londoners. I can think of no higher calling than trying to make the city I love more loveable for all who reside in it.”
Anthony Browne will be a real boost to Boris’ office. He is a considerable talent but in searching for his successor we’d like to re-emphasise these words from Tim Montgomerie in a recent piece for Comment is free: "PX’s director Anthony Browne appeared on the Today programme a couple of weeks ago and sounded like a Tory Treasury spokesman. He peddled the modernisers’ myth that tax cuts had lost the last few elections and wouldn’t be potent now. Times have moved on, and PX will lose some of its usefulness to the party if it simply echoes the party line."
Policy Exchange recently lost its excellent Chief Economist, Dr Oliver Marc Hartwich, to Australia’s Centre for Independent Studies. Portland PR’s respected James Bethell has replaced Steven King as Head of Communications.