Further to yesterday’s post on who will be overseeing the government’s plans for dealing with lobbyists, it would seem that another name is very much in the frame.
Shaun Woodward says he has been handed ‘a new responsibility to provide ministerial support to the Prime Minister in the Cabinet Office on the coordination of government policy and strategy’. This is in addition to his role as Northern Ireland secretary.
The significance of this should not be under-stated. It will mean that Woodward effectively takes Liam Byrne’s seat in the war-room of 12 Downing Street. Given that the two new Cabinet Office ministers (Tessa Jowell and Angela Smith) are already somewhat overloaded, will Woodward also be landed with Tom Watson’s lobbying reform duties?
A Cabinet Office spokesman couldn’t rule it out today. Either way the ex-Tory MP will be a important figure in Downing Street for the next few months….