The stamp of the SpAd

23 July 2020

Special advisers come and go with the ever-moving merry-go-round of ministers.

Each of them tend to impose their own stamp on the workings of their department, with nobody entirely sure whether they are delivering the message from the secretary of state or adding their own slant.

Diary senses that Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government insiders – or survivors as some call them - are only now starting to breathe a little easier following the departure of the exacting Peter Cardwell, the adviser to James ‘Brokey’ Brokenshire when he was secretary of state.

Fastidious Mr Cardwell had a long list of words comms staff were banned from using that he would kick off about.

‘He hated a superfluous “that” and would have a breakdown every time he saw it in a press release,’ whispered one former colleague.

‘He also banned “journey” as he said it should only be allowed if you’re actually physically going somewhere or are on The X Factor.’

A quick analysis has found “that” creeping back into MHCLG pronouncements.

Mr Cardwell might need to take a physical journey back to Marsham Street if he wants to sort out his former colleagues.

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