Coffee House

Comings and goings at Number 11 Downing Street

16 November 2012

Few politicians have put as much thought in to the team around them as George Osborne. He is a collector of talented people. Unlike most Tories, he has gone outside of CCHQ and parliament for nearly every senior appointment he’s made. But I understand that after Christmas he’ll be losing one of the most important members of his operation, Poppy Mitchell-Rose.

Mitchell-Rose has acted as Osborne’s fixer and gatekeeper since he first became shadow Chancellor. On the long—and sometimes bumpy—road from opposition to government, she has been a calm sherpa who has dealt with a host of problems before they have even arisen. But she is now moving to Washington, DC, before starting a career in the private sector. I suspect that she’ll not be short of job offers.

Mitchell-Rose’s Special Adviser position will be taken by Thea Rogers, who is currently the BBC’s lead political producer. She’ll have a particular emphasis on the broadcast presentation of Osborne’s economic and political strategy. She’ll fit in alongside Ramesh Chhabra, Osborne’s political spokesman who is in charge of daily news management for the Chancellor.

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Show comments
  • Daniel Maris

    Poppy’s boyfriend is Ben Wright – BBC employee and son of Tony Wright MP (so says Wikipedia) Thought some of you might like to know that.

    Of course this idea that we are ruled by a metropolitan elite rather than parties who win elections is of course completely false.

  • David Trant

    FCS how do you define talented, has anyone of ’em built anything, made anything work, found a cure of cancer, written a major musical piece, or won the Nobel prize for literature? no ,most of ’em have degrees in media studies, or a just hacks and jurnos, oh come to think of it people like Forsyth, you wouldn’t p*ss on ’em to put ’em out.

    Ask one of ’em to fix a car or explain how their central heating works, thats when you find out how talented they are.

  • Daniel Maris

    If he’s got all those talented people around him, how come is he so cr*p at the job?

    • 2trueblue

      Who says they are talented?

  • Boudicca_Icenii

    The rats are deserting the Tory hulk.

  • HooksLaw

    ‘Few politicians have put as much thought in to the team around them as George Osborne’
    Oh really.
    I find that hard to believe. I strongly suspect that all politicians put a lot of thought to it.

  • DavidDP

    Quick! Someone’s posted a story we aren’t interested in! Personally insult them, someone!
    Oh, phew. Someone has. That’ll teach him.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      No, it won’t. This lickspittle can’t be shamed out of it.

    • Rhoda Klapp

      David, I know Mr Forsyth is just doing his job, within the constraints of the lobby and maintaining his relationships inside the bubble. I just think it stinks, so I try to make it clear that we are being gamed. That’s all.

      • EJ

        Hear hear Rhoda. James is just doing his job – I’m sure he enjoys it and I’m sure he does well out of it. But that doesn’t mean we have to swallow what he comes out with when it is so uncritical and so obviously spin. We are being gamed and what’s even worse is that they still think we can’t see it!

  • EJ

    Yawn. Yawn. YAWN.

    The Cameroonians can shuffle around these useless lick-spittle non-entities as much as they like – until they actually give us some principled action on the things that MATTER they will continue their slide towards annihilation.

    The rest of us have jumped this sinking ship James – why are you so desperate to be on it?

  • RC

    Surrounds himself by talented people? How come all the blunders which have resulted in u-turns then?

    • liversedge

      Just imagine how bad it could have been without them …

    • Archimedes

      Because he didn’t get a choice when it came to the LibDems surrounding him.

    • 2trueblue

      As the BC are anti why would you employ someone from such an organisation to help you present your case? Am I missing something here?

      • telemachus

        Nick Robinson is now by proxy a coaltion man and should step down
        I’m fed up of his stupid glasses anyway

      • Dan Grover

        Because they’re more likely to know how to better present yourself to such an audience – ie, the people that aren’t already voting with you anyway – than someone who only knows how to preach to the choir?

    • telemachus

      Talented but flawed on policy and judgement

  • Rhoda Klapp

    So, as it certainly is not a slow news day, what the hell is this? Distraction? An inside story about non-entitiies? If these folks are interesting, why not tell us before? If not, why tell us now? I suggest this is just the external face of an ongoing exchange of obliigations, to what purpose I cannot tell.

    • Vulture

      Rhoda : I can explain. James has just got a new job, moonlighting as the wastebin where Dave n’ George toss their discarded Press releases. His duties are officially described as ‘distraction from the bad news that everyone else is talkin’ about’. Kapish?

      • telemachus

        Vulture let us have info


        Under the sponsorship of the Robert R. Nathan Memorial Foundation, Esme-Thea Rogers spent eight weeks at Nathan Associates Inc. learning about applied economic research and analysis in a business setting.

        Esme, who is majoring in economics and minoring in mathematics at Washington DC’s Howard University, was under the wing of three of the firm’s junior professionals: Maggie Pagel, Pooja Pokhrel, and Peter Miller.

        For the first four weeks at Nathan, Esme worked in the firm’s litigation support practice, learning the ins and outs of economic data “cleaning” and analysis necessary in antitrust and damages cases. To support ongoing case work, she studied case histories, made maps for use in presentations to attorneys, and gathered and formatted county-by-county GDP data to help determine the role of a particular industry in a state’s economy.

        In the second four weeks, Esme gained exposure to a range of home office work in international development. She read USAID requests for proposals and Nathan Associates’ responses to those requests, gathered data on land use and availability in East African countries for a food supply and demand projection to 2020, helped summarize the number of baseline and post-food-distribution monitoring assessments for each geographic and demographic category being served by UMCOR, created a gantt chart outlining the chronological sequence of assessments to identify assistance gaps, and catalogued data received for further processing.

        As a self-declared “numbers person,” Esme appreciated the tight focus and timeline of litigation support and the ease of acquiring data needed for analysis. But, according to Esme, gathering data on crop projections from sources such as the World Bank was not so easy: “They told me the countries themselves have to authorize release of data, if there is any to be released.” Without data what’s an economist to do?

        For future Nathan Working Scholars, Esme says “to be open to doing any and every kind of work–it’s a great opportunity to find out what your interests are. The people here are very friendly—and the lunches are great! “

        Nathan Associates wishes Esme all the best as she finishes her last year of study at Howard University

      • Magnolia

        I like your word capisce. Much better than the one you used earlier today that properly describes the poor unfortunates born with congenital hypothyroidism. I didn’t tick that one because of that. But do you really capisce? For once terrible tel may have got it right. James has given us a big clue here and he’s telling us to go fishing.

      • Daniel Maris

        This article has such a tenuous connection with reality that Sally Bercow will probably re-tweet it.

    • Im so ronery

      He is doing a favour for Poppy. Flattering pic, puff piece and badabing! she’s also available for work. All part of the playbook in the Westminster village. He was probably at school with her too.

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