The (sort of) return of Steve Hilton
By Peter Hoskin
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This new Parliamentary Advisory Board on Policy? Turns out it’s not just Parliamentary. No.10 has confirmed to us what Tom Newton Dunn reported: that Steve Hilton will involve himself in its meetings about once a month.
This is good news, in a way. As I’ve said before, Mr Hilton is exactly the sort of freethinker that David Cameron needs around him. And the news is sure to cheer Tory backbenchers, who have collectively warmed to him in his absence.
But let’s not read too much into all this. I used the words “will involve himself,” above, for a reason – because it’s not entirely clear what the extent of Mr Hilton's involvement will be. Sometimes he might join the meetings in person, if he’s around London. But, otherwise, he may just dial in from California.
That set-up doesn’t sound too far removed from what Mr Hilton has being doing already: getting on with a life away from No.10, while helping out his former boss from time to time. It’s what he did for Mr Cameron’s last conference speech, after all.
In which case, I wouldn’t count this as a proper return. If anything, it could suggest that such a return isn’t likely, and that Mr Hilton would prefer to advise from a distance. Who knows? Perhaps his weeping frustrations with Government still haven’t healed.