Just like its drawn-out leadership contest, the Conservative Party
appears content to take plenty of time in recruiting for its top PR
The role of head of media, made vacant by the dramatic and rather noisy
departure of Amanda Platell, has been covered in the interim by her
deputy Nick Wood.
He is still the favourite to keep the role permanently, speculation
exacerbated by the official party line that newly-elected leader Iain
Duncan Smith is happy with his PR team.
A Tory spokesman said: 'He (IDS) has only just come into the job and
there's a bigger issue at the moment. There's no rush, Nick carries
Nevertheless, there appears to be confusion regarding the role of Mike
Penning, IDS's press secretary during the leadership campaign, who is
remaining in his post.
Is there really a need for both roles? Will one go? The rumour mill is
Although it is admirable for the Conservatives to show calm restraint in
the appointment of Platell's successor, one wonders why such careful
consideration was not given to the appointment of the shadow cabinet
that he or she must attempt to spin into government.
Bill Cash: remember him? The tall, loud-suited Euro-sceptic, who flanked
John Redwood in his leadership bid in the Major era.
Michael Howard: who none other than Ann Widdecombe once said had
'something of the night about him.'
Even Oliver Letwin, whose numerical blunder during this year's election
campaign led to him being swiftly removed from the public eye, has found
a prominent place in the team.
Calm constraint aside, until Platell's job has been filled, tongues will
continue to wag. At least 25 wannabe spin kings are understood to have
expressed an interest in the role.