Neil Sherlock

Nick Clegg has moved to strengthen his team in Whitehall with the appointment of Neil Sherlock, a KPMG partner in charge of public affairs, as his “director of government relations”.

Mr Sherlock is one of a new intake of Liberal Democrat special advisers – Spads in the jargon – who have been brought into government to ensure that Mr Clegg’s influence is felt across all areas of government policy.

The KPMG man is the ultimate Lib Dem insider. A former parliamentary candidate, he has written speeches and provided advice for a series of Lib Dem leaders (except Charles Kennedy, with whom he enjoyed frosty relations). His wife, Kate Parminter, is a Lib Dem peer in the Lords.