DefectionThe Sunday Telegraph has the story of Labour’s welfare guru, David Freud, and his journey towards becoming a Tory peer.

Fraser Nelson writes (my emphasis):

"This gives several deeply encouraging signals. First, Cameron is willing to identify genuine experts: he is serious about reform. The appointment of May had, I confess, led me to question this. Next, Cameron is getting serious defections. I hear that more are in the pipeline. And most importantly. Cameron is mature enought to identify and bolster the best ideas of this exhausted Labour Government. Welfare reform and City Academies are great ideas, and if you let the momentum slack then you lose years on the reform agenda. The Blairites did have excellent ideas for government, and Brown hasn’t managed to destroy them all. As I say in my News of the World column tomorrow, all they need now is Lord Adonis. He was, after all, a LibDem once. Surely he could go for a hat trick?"

Tim Montgomerie

2pm, 15th February: Statement from David Cameron:

“One of the biggest challenges facing the next Government will be that of mass unemployment and how we can get Britain back to work.   David Freud is a hugely impressive figure who has done more than anyone else to highlight how we can do just that and I am delighted that he has agreed to join my frontbench team.”

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