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A new and vital role

Nick Robinson | 13:45 UK time, Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Well, he did say he'd have a government of all the talents. Gordon Brown has just given a major new job to someone who he tried to prevent from working for Tony Blair and who was the prime minister's point man in some of the fiercest Blair/Brown clashes.

Jeremy Heywood is to take up a new and vital role as head of domestic policy and strategy in the Cabinet Office. Translated this means he'll be the new PM's main domestic policy adviser and progress chaser.

Heywood was principal private secretary to the Prime Minister from 1999 to 2003 - a job that (according to Derek Scott's book) Brown tried to stop him taking. Once in post he had to handle many other Blair/Brown spats - most notably on whether Britain should join the Euro.

He left Downing Street for the City where he is currently managing director and co-head of the UK investment banking division at Morgan Stanley.

Lest you think that Gordon Brown has changed the habits of a lifetime, it's worth pointing out that Heywood hailed originally - don't they all - from the Treasury, where he worked with Gordon Brown and, before that, Tory Chancellors Clarke and Lamont.

Strictly speaking Heywood's been appointed by the Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O'Donnell (another ex-Treasury man) and not by Brown. This distinction matters because what Sir Gus and Gordon Brown are trying to do is to signal that in the post-Blair years that will be a restoration of proper constitutional processes with government managed by civil servants instead of Tony's chums on the sofa.


The only change is that it will be Brown's sofa not Blair's.

  • 2.
  • At 02:56 PM on 12 Jun 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

Hi Nick Seems like Blair is preparing the way to install the EU constitution while showing everyone what a good person he is by visiting the Pope and of course he now wants to control the media or at a minimum bring them to heel last time the BBC lost its Boss now it looks as if his sights are on you. After all your the one commentating on why he does what he does and lets face it someone needs to. But his wrath is coming Its payback for all his old enemies Not so sweet now eh Mr Blair. Good luck Nick and don't let him frighten you Nows a good chance for the country to show Mr Blair what we all really think of him.

  • 3.
  • At 03:25 PM on 12 Jun 2007,
  • Betty West wrote:

He would say that wouldn't he!!

  • 4.
  • At 02:39 PM on 26 Jun 2007,
  • j evans wrote:

Dear Nick,

Blair will hand over the seals of office when he resigns, the terminology used by Her Majesty, is that Gordon Brown will be asked to form NEW governmnet,
New Government, Unelected?
"How close to that remark is it"?

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