The Liberal Democrat special advisers

News I’ve picked up so far:

Danny Alexander (Secretary of State for Scotland) – Willie Rennie and Alison Suttie
Vince Cable (Business Secretary) – Will de Payer
Chris Huhne (Secretary of State for Climate Change) – Duncan Brack and Joel Kenrick
David Laws (Chief Secretary to the Treasury) – Katie Waring

Nick Clegg / Downing Street – Sean Kemp, Jonny Oates, Lena Pietsch and Chris Saunders

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16 Comments

  • katy and Will wrong way round.
    ?Polly mackenzie, james McGrory at No.10?

    Do Lib Dem Ministers get no political support at all? If so it will be easy for them to become isolated both inside the department and from the parliamentary party. This means they will be less effective – or swallowed by the civil servant machine and worn down by the small ‘c’ conservatism of the senior civil service.

    Sort it please.

  • Tony Greaves 20th May '10 - 10:31pm

    I don’t know who a lot of these people are – I hiope they know enough about Liberalism, Liberal Democrat policy etc and the party.

    Tony Greaves

  • Tony – I can vouch for Willie, Will, Duncan and Katie, and well as Jonny and Chis. Have some faith in our ministers!

  • However, there appear to be few (if any) who understand how to run a Tory/Lib coalition. There are a large number of (sadly) former council leaders with that experience, who’s phone calls/emails are not being retunrened by 20 something gatekeepers. That is bad news.

  • Hope that Polly MacKenzie has been found a place.

  • Matthew Huntbach 21st May '10 - 10:33am

    A lot of us have swallowed very hard to accept and give our public support to this coalition. In doing so, we have perhaps put a lifetime’s political work in danger. One very possible outcome is that we are destroyed as a party, but Nick Clegg and his Parliamentary supporters are kept safe in their jobs by a pact that they will not be opposed by Conservatives in future elections. This is precisely what happened to the Liberal Party in the 20th century, what we have now as the Liberal Democrats has been painfully built up back from that.

    Nick Clegg may have been the right person to negotiate the coalition, it may be the personal empathy he has with David Cameron enabled him to get more than someone more like the community politics focused campaigners who actually enabled Clegg to have so many parliamentary seats to negotiate with.

    However, Clegg, unfortunately does have a history of very little empathy with his own party’s hardest workers, and has never shown any sign of accepting that a leader has to balance all opinions in his/her party, not show favouritism to those most close to his/her personal opinions. Therefore a close watch has to be kept on such things as who he chooses to appoint to various roles, and so far it has not been encouraging.

    The more this happens, the more people in the party will have to see their role as maintaining the party’s independence and treating Clegg as partly the enemy, rather than giving him their full support.

    Maybe Clegg does not care about this as his end-game is to form the 21st century equivalent of the National Liberals. If that is not his end-game, perhaps he would have the grace to give some signals that it is not.

  • Matthew – agree there are risks, but at least Nick Clegg and the Parliamentary party have been absolutely clear that there is no question of a pact at elections.

    Perhaps Thirsk and Malton gives community campaigners a chance to emphasise how separate the party remains?

  • Of all of them, Willie knows the risks of a bruising Labour campaign!

  • I agree with Joe – civil servants can keep ministers very busy, and a good SpAd can be useful at any number of levels, including keeping ministers focused on big picture, cross cutting issues, and in remembering principles, when they might otherwise be sucked into being technocratic ministers.

  • Anthony Aloysius St 21st May '10 - 11:29pm

    “One very possible outcome is that we are destroyed as a party, but Nick Clegg and his Parliamentary supporters are kept safe in their jobs by a pact that they will not be opposed by Conservatives in future elections.”

    This had also occurred to me.

    If the government is almightily unpopular when the time comes for the next election, the logic of a Lib/Con pact may be very difficult to resist. But I think it would be the end of the party.

  • Yes, who are they? Can we get a full breakdown of what they have done and who is paying them

  • also how much they are being paid and what they are doing?

  • Paul McKeown 22nd May '10 - 11:39pm

    @Matthew Huntbach
    “Maybe Clegg does not care about this as his end-game is to form the 21st century equivalent of the National Liberals. If that is not his end-game, perhaps he would have the grace to give some signals that it is not.”

    I understand your plea, but do you really think that he could take the parliamentary party with him on such a venture, even if he were so minded? When I read what he has written over the last few years, it seems to me that he is very mindful of the history of the Liberal party, the traps it has fallen into and how its philosophy has distinguished it from both the Conservatives and Labour. I hope your nightmare is, and remains, wrong. Time will tell, but I certainly would agree that the occasional signal from the party leadership would be helpful.

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