DIARY: Platell election video diary makes for 'treachery' in Conservative eyes

Some roles in life inspire total loyalty - a dogged commitment

which time cannot diminish. Doing PR on behalf of the Conservative Party

is clearly not one of them.

News that head of media Amanda Platell secretly recorded an election

video diary came as a weighty blow.

'Her claims that she had told Hague about it two weeks ago didn't ring

true,' one Central Office source says.

'Or if she did, she certainly didn't make him aware of the


For Platell's Tory career at least, those implications were fatal. Long

thought of as an outsider and mistrusted by many on the Portilloite side

of the party, it was only Platell's close bonds with William and wife

Ffion that kept her in the job.

In the face of what Tories are now queuing up to condemn as 'treachery,'

her position was untenable.

Now that the fatal blows have been administered - first by a Sebastian

Coe pager message to clear her desk and then by a terse internal e-mail

announcing her departure - speculation centres on likely successors.

At the front of the pack is deputy media head and ex-Times reporter Nick

Wood. Although associated with Hague, Wood is said by Central Office

sources to be 'well-respected' across the board.

Assistant head of media and former BBC On the Record producer Andrew

Scadding also features on many of the speculators' shortlists. As does

Hague's affable press secretary Ed Young.

Though all three have been tempted by private sector offers, the chance

to build up trust before betraying one's masters may prove more of a

pull. Watch this space.

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