Young political adviser to George Osborne “carried more authority” than Swire

Matt Hancock was one of the “Cameron/Osborne gang” in the last parliament, acting as a SpAd (Special Adviser) to Osborne. He became an MP in 2010 and is now Cabinet Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. In a (somewhat critical and unflattering profile of him there on an influential Conservative website there is an interesting bit of information on Hugo Swire:

“Hancock became Osborne’s chief of staff, sat with Ed Llewellyn (who played the same role for Cameron) in the room between their bosses’ rooms, attended the morning meetings in Cameron’s room and the preparation sessions for Prime Minister’s Questions.

“He was there throughout,” a Cameroon says. “He really was part of the gang.” A shadow minister of those years, pursuing a less gilded path, recalls:

“I knew him as one of the SpAds [Special Advisers – political Appointees] who wanted more power than shadow ministers. If Matt said something, it was his master’s voice [Osborne’s]. It carried more authority than, say, HUGO SWIRE.”

However, he and Swire apparently shared some characteristics:

I have to say I never took to the man [Hancock]. Clearly able in a Bank of England sort of way. But devoid of principle, transparently ambitious and pleased with himself beyond measure.”

So now we know – a junior MP had more authority than Swire!