Conservative Diary

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Pauline Neville-Jones resigns. Angela Browning replaces her. Will Downing Street deliver on the Munich speech?


In a statement, Number 10 has emphasised that the news comes "at her own request".  Neville-Jones didn't have in government as a Minister of State the scope that she had as David Cameron's National Security Adviser in Opposition.  Theresa May has tended to lead both on the development of policy and its implementation.  So there may be no more to the news than there seems to be, though we await further details.

Neville-Jones entered the Shadow Cabinet at the same time as Sayeeda Warsi in what was seen, correctly, as a balancing move by Cameron.  Her resignation leaves the Government without its most expert figure on Islamism - and one who generally took a position on it that was both informed and robust.  With the Prevent Review apparently delayed - I tweeted only this afternoon to ask where it is - the stance of her just-announced replacement, Angela Browning, will be watched with interest.

Browning's a no-nonsense lady and no pushover.  But Neville-Jones's departure leaves the Government weaker on these matters than it was before.  After Clegg's Luton speech and this latest news, a question asks itself: will Downing Street deliver on the Munich speech?

Matthew: update - Baroness Neville-Jones' full resignation letter (pdf) and David Cameron's letter thanking her for her advice, experience and service (pdf).


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