Conservative Diary

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Learning lessons from the three resignations from Team Boris

AxedBorisAide Yesterday Boris Johnson lost his third Deputy since becoming London's Mayor thirteen months ago.

Today's Evening Standard suggests that Ian Clement resigned after dishonest expenses claims.  Clement, 44, claimed to be meeting London council leaders when he was allegedly meeting his lover, 23.

Mr Clement's resignation follows the earlier departures of Ray Lewis and Tim Parker.

All three resignations are unfortunate but Boris Johnson has overcome these problems and has built a very strong core team of Anthony Browne (Policy), Guto Harri (Communications), Malthouse (Policing) and Milton (Policy and Planning).

I hope the Conservative Party is watching this whole business carefully, however.  Nick Boles - who ran Boris Johnson's transition - is heading up the Party's Implementation Team with Francis Maude.  Some personnel problems are unavoidable but there must be lessons from this.  I think particularly of vetting procedures, agreeing structures in advance and also the strength of guidance that is issued to those that David Cameron will appoint to his own team (should he become Prime Minister).

A key difference between Team Boris and Team Cameron is the stability of the latter's 'inner sanctum'.  As ConHome will reveal in a few days' time - with the publication of our profile of 'David Cameron's West Wing' - the Cameron machine is characterised by very stable relationships, forged over many years. 

Tim Montgomerie


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