A lesson from Louise Mensch's GQ interview
By Paul Goodman
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"I’m not even a PPS (parliamentary private secretary, the lowest run on the ministerial ladder). It’s kind of annoying. What do I have to do to get promoted over here? Am I being disloyal? I don’t know."
"I need to sit down with my whip and say "What do I have to do?" No, every time there is a raft of PPS promotions and my name is not on them, I have to sit down and think ‘What am I doing wrong?"
There is no reason whatsoever why Mensch shoudn't be a PPS. However, the same is true of the following members of her intake: Harriet Baldwin, Steve Barclay, Bob Blackman, Nicola Blackwood, Karen Bradley, Fiona Bruce, Therese Coffey, Damian Collins, Oliver Colville, Tracey Crouch, Nick de Bois, Caroline Dineage, Jane Ellison, Charlie Elphicke, George Eustice, Mike Freer, Lorraine Fullbrook, Richard Fuller, Mark Garnier, John Glen, Zac Goldsmith, Helen Grant, Andrew Griffiths, Ben Gummer, Robert Halfon, Matthew Hancock, Richard Harrington, Rebecca Harris, Chris Heaton-Harris, Kris Hopkins, George Hollingberry, Margot James, Jo Johnson, Kwasi Kwarteng, Andrea Leadsom, Phillip Lee, Charlotte Leslie, Johnathan Lord, Paul Maynard, Jason McCartney, Penny Mourdaunt, Jesse Norman, Priti Patel, Stephen Phillips, Daniel Poulter, Dominic Raab, Amber Rudd, Laura Sandys, Chris Skidmore, Henry Smith, Anna Soubry, Elizabeth Truss, Paul Uppal, Robin Walker, Gavin Williamson, and Nadhim Zahwawi.
Come to think of it, the same is true of other members of the class of 2010 who have slipped beneath my radar: my fault, not theirs. I have left out a handful of people off on the ground that they probably wouldn't want to serve as a PPS in the first place.
But at any rate, a lesson of the Mensch interview is: since she's no more or less ambitious than lots of other members of her intake - or previous ones - this year's reshuffle will be a headache for David Cameron. She's only voiced what lots of her colleagues think (about themselves, that is.)
The list of PPS's published online is a bit out of date, so I apologise to any of the above who have since been promoted.
11.45am update: Mensch will at least be able today to congratulate a colleague. PoliticsHome (£) reports that Jo Johnson, Boris's brother, has been made PPS to Mark Prisk, the Business Minister.