With so many new and young faces sitting on the government benches, it’s easy to overlook the next generation of twenty-something Righties. This London-based group of friends and professionals, who drink, blog, tweet, and network together, are definitely ones to keep an eye on over the next few years. Let’s meet some of them:
- Samuel Coates
Formerly of this parish, Sam was our Deputy Editor, who left to become a speech-writer for David Cameron at the age of 22. He then led the online war for CCHQ, and is now Head of Digital, responsible for the Party's online strategy. Sam is in the TA and later this month he will be deployed to Helmand for a six-month tour of duty.
- Dan Hamilton
A regular ConHome contributor, Dan used to work for ComRes and has a much respected political knowledge of Europe, as well as Britain. He led something of a Brat Pack trip to Kosovo earlier this year, with more Pack trips abroad expected in the future. Currently the Director of the Big Brother Watch campaign group, this month he stepped down as a Runnymede Borough Councillor
- Harry Cole
A former Vice-President of Scottish Conservative Future, and CCHQ-based CF recruiter, Cole wrote the “ToryBear” blog, before becoming the News Editor of the Guido Fawkes blog. He has sources all over the Westminster village, and is a strong media performer; his Sunday Times paper reviews are characteristic of his provocative style. His parties south of the river (hosted at the flat he shares with Christian May) are, apparently, the stuff of Brat Pack legend.
- Mark Wallace
This (early era) Elvis lookalike Tynesider, who describes himself as a “patriotic libertarian”, is a former head of campaigns at the Freedom Association and the Taxpayers’ Alliance, and was previously a part of the No campaign in the 2004 North East Regional Assembly referendum. Last year, he moved into the world of PR, but his personal blog, “Crash Bang Wallace” is a must-read.
- Shane Greer
Formerly Iain Dale’s right hand man, he is now the Executive Editor of Dale’s Total Politics magazine. His prolific appearances on television, radio and the paper reviews have led to him being jokingly referred to by fellow Packers as “TV’s Shane Greer”. One of few accomplished media performers who can confidently talk about most news stories, he is an American-style pundit.
- Nick Pickles
Music photographer extraordinaire and proud Yorkshireman, he took on Yvette Cooper in Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford as the Conservative candidate in 2010, out-performing the national trend by achieving a formidable 12.5% swing to the Conservatives. President of the Durham Students' Union 2005-6, he is Mark Wallace’s flatmate and “an all-round good egg”, but despite rumours, he is no relation to Eric Pickles.
- Matt Sinclair
Sinclair took over the role of Director of the Taxpayers’ Alliance when Matthew Elliott left to head the No2AV campaign. Many people would struggle to follow Elliott, but Sinclair has made his own mark, is a polished media performer (including a notable clash on the BBC’s Daily Politics with Unison’s Dave Prentis), and has a razor-sharp mind.
- Jimmy McLoughlin
Son of the Chief Whip, Patrick, he is a respected political consultant, and former Conservative Future official. Keeps a quiet and low profile, but is “a big player behind the scenes”. There is a consensus that he is, as one source told me, “one of the nicest guys and most loyal friends in Westminster”.
- Piotr Brzezinski
A Harvard-educated trans-Atlantic writer and CCHQ policy analyst, he was recently on loan at the No2AV campaign. Brzezinski has performed some serious roles for the party, and is considered “one to watch” to the extent that one source even tipped him to work in Downing Street in the not-too-distant future.
- Juliet Samuel
Another Harvard grad, Samuel was the fearless face of the spoof news channel, Guy News. As “Emily Nomates” she notably managed to interview then-UKIP leader Lord Pearson in a burka. She is now one of the increasing number of libertarian conservatives at City AM, with an impressive number of scoops and front pages already under her belt. One source told me she was “one of the most interesting people” he’d ever met.
- Christian May
May is a political consultant for a public relations firm, with a strong interest in foreign affairs. He is said to have had a hand in a surprising number of notable speeches made by Cabinet members in recent times. May is a former Deputy National Chairman of Conservative Future.
- Raheem Kassam
Over the last few years, Kassam has been involved with a number of groups: Conservative Future, the Taxpayers’ Alliance, the Henry Jackson Society (where he is currently the Director of Campaigns), and was referred to in the Daily Telegraph as an organiser of the “British Tea Party”. Kassam has carved a strong niche with his work against Islamic extremism in universities. He is also the only Brat Packer so far to have his own Wikipedia page.
- Donata Huggins
Also formerly of this parish, Huggins used to work at the BBC’s Daily Politics, and is now the Features Writer at City AM. She is said to be a “ruthless networker”, and has an extensive contact book. Apparently more focused on the media than campaigning; one source said “she’s destined for a broadcast career”.
Who have I missed?