Andrew Lilico has just posted a farewell message on CentreRight. Andrew has been our most prolific contributor and will leave a big hole. He's stopping blogging on ConHome because he has been appointed as Chief Economist at Policy Exchange. It's a big appointment by Neil O'Brien and Charles Moore. PX have been forced to make some staff redundant in recent weeks and so finding the budget for Andrew demonstrates a seriousness about regearing their work in the gloomy economic environment. Andrew will continue part time at Europe Economics and will bring to PX the deep economic analysis that has characterised his CentreRight posts. His appointment also confirms Policy Exchange's increasing determination to assert its independence. Andrew has been a critic of some aspects of Tory economic policy - including on spending and bailouts. I look forward to seeing that independence of mind in PX output.
On a personal note I'd like to pay tribute to a man who has become a friend in recent times. He may be known as a chief economist - professionally and through his membership of the Shadow Monetary Policy Committee - but he's also a philosopher (he does, after all, have first and Masters (distinction) degrees in philosophy) and an Anglican Christian. His beliefs in tolerance (not universal acceptance), in compassion, that people are sinful, that perfectionism is hubris, but that repentance and reform are possible (no-one is beyond salvation) will, I hope, also find room for expression at Policy Exchange.