By Paul Goodman
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- The Policy Unit is a Government policy unit, not a Conservative Party policy unit. So what's the LibDems' role in the new set-up?
- How will the bright and energetic Jo Johnson – who knows a lot about India, by the way – spread himself between running the Policy Unit and working for his constituents?
- Does the carefully-balanced advisory board, containing, in order, one young One Nation-orientated thinker, campaigner and writer (and former rebel: a bit of rehabilitation going on here); one hugely experienced and intelligent right-wing former Minister; one former senior Cameron aide; one woman from the left of the party; one Sikh MP who holds a marginal seat; one immensely hard-working and expert former Minister (who, arguably, should never have been sacked at all), one centre-right MP with a very marginal seat, and one modernising, economically liberal woman…well, does it really mean anything? Will it have a real role in shaping policy? How will it fit alongside the 1922 Committee's policy groups and the Conservative Policy Forum.
- Matthew Barrett pointed out in his profile of new Conservative MPs that a characteristic whips' wheeze would be to knock Boris Johnson down a bit by building his brother up.
- The move is part of the push for rapprochement with Tory MPs by Cameron ushered in by Baroness Thatcher's death and which I wrote about earlier today. There is more on the matter behind the Times paywall, including a claim that Michael Fallon will be promoted in a summer reshuffle, and details of how the Prime Minister has taken to writing by hand to Conservative MPs.
The Prime Minister clearly wants to fill some of the gaps in Number 10 which the Times's Rachel Sylvester covered earlier this week and we've also covered previously – as well as to correct his original error of letting the civil service shape the Policy Unit.
Congratulations to all!