WALTER CRONXITE, our political editor, was taking the weekend off. Then Theresa Mayhem offered a job to a gaffe-prone ex-MP
Like a bad penny, Gavin Barwell keeps turning up.Amid the chaos of the aftermath of her General Election “victory” (we use the phrase advisedly), the unelected Prime Minister, Theresa Mayhem, this afternoon appointed gaffe-prone Barwell as her Downing Street chief of staff.
Barwell had been rejected by the electorate of Croydon Central on Thursday, after seven years as their under-achieving MP.
But Barwell’s job at No10 doesn’t look likely to be a long-term appointment.
“He doesn’t have the swearing ability of a Malcolm Tucker for a start,” a Croydon Tory colleague said on hearing of the appointment.
And Barwell’s time in office will be dependent on how long his boss lasts: Mayhem now owes her position as Prime Minister to a handful of bigots, homophobes and friends of terrorists from the DUP. More than 60 per cent of respondents to a poll on a Conservative Party website today have demanded May’s immediate resignation.
The job vacancy arose for Barwell when Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill stood down from their job share after being labelled “toxic” and blamed for the party’s catastrophic performance in the snap election.
That election had cost Barwell his job as MP for Croydon Central.
He probably owes his new position to his long-time backing from Lord Cashcroft, the billionaire tax-avoider and former Tory Party deputy chairman.Michael Ashcroft and Barwell go back a long way. Career politician Barwell went from Cambridge University straight to a job in Tory Central Office, where he worked for 17 years, including on the “target seat scheme” ahead of the 2010 General Election which was devised and run by Ashcroft.
Ashcroft is reckoned to be among the 40 richest people in the country. Or the richest in Belize, given Cashcroft’s penchant for off-shore tax avoidance schemes.
May announced the appointment today by saying: “I’m delighted that Gavin Barwell accepted the role as my chief of staff.”
She clearly doesn’t read Inside Croydon. “He has been a first-class minister and is widely respected.” Hahahahaha.
“He will bring considerable experience of the party to the post. As I said yesterday, I want to reflect on the election and why it did not deliver the result I hoped for.”
For his part, Barwell said, “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to serve as her chief of staff.”
The snivelling little brown-noser added that he believes Mayhem “is the best person to heal the divisions in our country that last year’s referendum and the General Election have laid bare”. Presumably, he has forgotten who was Home Secretary in the Cabinet when the EU Referendum was called, or who called the election.Barwell’s qualifications for a chief of staff, Malcolm Tucker-style job seem a little thin on the ground. Although he had a long spell as a parliamentary party enforcer in the Tory Whips’ Office, his expertise really lies as a campaigner – particularly in producing dissembling and deceiving leaflets.
It is entirely possible, following the appointment, that Barwell may seek to hire one of his closest aides from Croydon to work with him in No10: Mario Creatura, mainly so that there’s someone in his office who knows how to switch on the Chief of Staff’s laptop.
The appointment also delays the publication of the sequel to Barwell’s 2016 memoir, How To Win A Marginal Seat with the 2017 account of the election which sources close to Barwell say has the working title of How To Lose A Marginal Seat By 5,000 Votes.
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