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Michael Fallon appointed as "the thinking man's rottweiler", to take on the new Labour leader

By Tim Montgomerie

Fallon Michael Newsnight Two weeks ago Michael Fallon was identified by Paul Goodman as exactly the kind of person who would bring a "clever, experienced, sharp and cool" edge to the party's communication efforts. I'm delighted to report, therefore, that Mr Fallon has been appointed as the new Deputy to Tory Chairmen, Sayeeda Warsi and Andrew Feldman.

Fallon succeeds Lord Ashcroft although it's not a like-for-like replacement. Stephen Gilbert, David Cameron's Political Secretary, is now in full charge of polling and target seats. Mr Gilbert is also due to take over the party's under-performing new media operation. Michael Fallon will perform a largely communications role. Benedict Brogan has just described the role as "an unofficial minister for the Today programme, available at all times to go into the studios and defend the Government or duff up the Opposition". You can certainly expect him to be a leading voice for the party next week when one of the Miliband brothers becomes the new Labour leader. He is, I'm told, "the thinking man's rottweiler"!

Picking Fallon is wise from another point of view. He's a member of the Right. He'll help improve relations between the Cameron operation and the parliamentary party.

CCHQ has announced two other appointments. Geoffrey Clifton-Brown and Mark Pritchard have been appointed to the Conservative Party's International Office. I don't know Mr Clifton-Brown. I do know Mark and have done for twenty years. It's an excellent appointment. His main interests have always been foreign policy - Europe, Russia, the transatlantic relationship, global poverty, the spread of religious freedom. I wish him great success.


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