Downing Street has pulled off a coup with the recruitment of Chris Lockwood, the US editor of The Economist, to the new Downing Street policy unit. Lockwood is one of the brightest and most insightful people in journalism and one imagines that he wouldn’t have left a prime perch at The Economist if he did not think that the new Policy Unit will have real heft.
Lockwood is close to Cameron: he was one of the six journalists that the Prime Minister listed as a personal friend in his evidence to Leveson. In 1993, as reported in the Elliott and Hanning biography of Cameron, Lockwood was part of a group that went on a villa holiday to Italy with Cameron and Samantha Sheffield, as she then was.
His recruitment is a sign of how keen Cameron now is to staff this policy unit with people he can trust who are experienced operators (Lockwood first joined The Economist in 1984).