Simon Walker’s appointment to the Number 10 policy unit is something of
a coup for his City PR firm Brunswick. But the move may have surprised
those who knew him at Oxford University in the 1970s.
Not that anyone doubted his abilities, nor his interest in politics.
Walker had all the hallmarks of a high flyer including a brief spell as
president of the Oxford Union, an office previously held by William
Par for the course for policy unit types, you may think. However,
eyebrows may twitch a little at the revelation that in 1973 Walker was
also chairman of Oxford Labour group - an unusual claim for one of the
Politics, of course, is littered with people who have crossed the
political divide - and back again. In Walker’s case the transformation
appears to have happened during his time in New Zealand, where he ran a
small consultancy advising the Labour Party. With the UK-version of
Labour looking increasingly unbeatable - it is an experience which may
yet stand him in good stead.