Daily Archives: October 7, 2011

Jim Pickard

A colleague was surprised to see Alastair Campbell, former New Labour spindoctor, on the plane back from Astana earlier this week. They both took the Wednesday flight from the Kazakhstan capital to Vienna before transferring to London.

We have written before that Tony Blair has been out to Astana a few times since leaving office. For those who are not familiar with the Central Asian country, it has been criticised in the past for its lack of human rights, as Alex Barker quoted the US state department in a recent blog. Read more

Jim Pickard

Liam Fox this morning sought to kill off an uncomfortable story by asking his permanent secretary to investigate whether he has breached the ministerial code over his dealings with his friend Adam Werrity.

The defence secretary is under pressure over the fact that Mr Werrity – best man at his wedding – was handing out cards calling himself “adviser” to Mr Fox, arranging meetings and attending sensitive events. Read more

Jim Pickard

Many of those who care enormously about the Labour reshuffle have probably seen it already on Twitter or on the party blogs. Others could happily survive without knowing the new shadow minister for the Cabinet Office (Jon Trickett, since you ask) or the new shadow Scotland secretary (Margaret Curran).

But for an overview our news story is on ft.com now.

My observation is that it is a strange mix of the radical and the unradical. For sure, most commentators will focus on the arrival of six of last year’s Commons intake; they include impressive figures such as Rachel Reeves and Chuka Umunna. Less televisual – but more experienced – types such as John Denham and Shaun Woodward have been Read more