Croydon Central’s Conservative MP Gavin Barwell has appointed a former “hobby bobby”, John Hammersmith, as his new parliamentary assistant at the House of Commons.
Hammersmith attended Whitgift School. Until very recently, Barwell sat on the board of governors of the Whitgift Foundation.
Hammersmith replaces the gaffe-prone Coulsdon councillor Mario Creatura, who left the plum £34,000 per year parliamentary job to go and work for a lager company.
According to a source at Westminster, Barwell’s new assistant “is not a like-for-like replacement for Mario, as Gavin is in the process of reorganising his office”.
Hammersmith joins Croydon councillor Jason Cummings working in Barwell’s Westminster office. The MP’s constituency office has another four staff, including councillors Sara Bashford and Sue Bennett.
“At least this time Gavin has made an appointment that doesn’t appear to be out-and-out patronage among the Croydon Tory party,” another source told Inside Croydon. “Hammersmith seems to have some experience working at Westminster for another MP, which should be useful. Though now Mario’s gone, the question remains: whose job is it to show Gavin how to turn on his computer?“
In a series of relatively short-stay jobs, Hammersmith’s previous employment was as a communications exec at Arqiva, the broadcasting facilities providers. Before that, he’d had a contract working as a campaign manager for the Tory Party in Enfield North, while from 2012 to 2013 he’d worked as an apprentice parliamentary assistant to the then Government Chief Whip, Mark Harper. Barwell, of course, is a Tory whip.
Conversations in Barwell’s office about cuts to police numbers in London may prove better informed than in the past now Hammersmith is there: from 2010 to 2014, he served as a special constable in the Met.
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