Tories offer Norris consolation prize of campaign role

The Conservative Party has offered its defeated London mayoral candidate Steve Norris a senior campaigning role in advance of the next general election.

The Conservative Party has offered its defeated London mayoral

candidate Steve Norris a senior campaigning role in advance of the next

general election.



Tory leader William Hague, fleshed out the details of the job offer in a

meeting with Norris earlier this week. Norris - who came second to Ken

Livingstone in the May 4 poll - has yet to accept, but an announcement

is expected within the next week.



Senior Norris aides said that Norris was keen to remain involved with

the party and that the party was keen to make use of one of its few

popular figures.



Although party chairman Michael Ancram will run the next general

election campaign - widely predicted for next spring - Norris would

adopt a ’vice-chairman role, as a public spokesperson and ambassadorial

figure’.



Such an outcome would free Norris to dedicate time to other interests,

remain involved in front-line politics and retain his high profile in

case he wishes to run for mayor again in four years.



In the new role, Norris would work closely with Ancram and the press

office team, headed by Amanda Platell.



It is not yet clear whether his two former media advisers would return

with him to work at Central Office. Since the election campaigns

director Ceri Evans and director of operations Alex Challoner have

returned to previous jobs as a freelance and a divisional director at

Ludgate respectively.



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