The rigid calendar of Westminster politics has some odd effects on the lives of those who work within it.
One example is the emergence of what are jokingly called “transfer windows” – the limited time-periods when it’s ok to move jobs without completely dropping your employer in it.
This means that March, April and May are often ruled out due to the approaching council, Westminster or European elections; while moving jobs between August and October would clash with preparations for party conference season and the events themselves.
We are therefore in the Winter transfer window at the moment, so it seems appropriate to give an update on some of the movements that have taken place over the last couple of months in the world of thinktanks and pressure groups.
I’m sure some commenters will take this as a prompt to moan about young people in politics or career politicos, but those involved play an important role in running the campaigns and carrying out the research without which the wider centre right movement would be a great deal weaker, so it’s worth paying attention to what is going on.
- Ruth Porter, who was the IEA’s Head of Communications, has become Head of Economics and Social Policy at Policy Exchange. There’s often quite a divide between the campaigners and the policy wonks in thinktank land, and it’s rare that someone moves from one stream to the other – Ruth will presumably bring some of her media nous to the PX policy agenda.
The Institute of Economic Affairs
- Ryan Bourne has left the Centre for Policy Studies, where he was Head of Economic Research, to become Head of Public Policy at the IEA. One of the rising stars of free market economics, he did great things at the CPS and can be expected to make a big impact with the IEA.
- Grant Tucker joins the think tank as Student Outreach Officer after three years as Iain Dale’s PA – an expert networker as well as a lovely guy, he’ll be an asset to their efforts to spread the message at universities.
- Ralph Buckle joins the IEA team from Dod’s as Head of Events.
- Steph Lis, formerly Ruth Porter’s deputy, has been promoted to Head of Communications.
- Christiana Hambro has been promoted to Head of External Relations.
The Centre for Policy Studies
- Adam Memon has left the Conservative Research Department to replace Ryan Bourne as Head of Economic Research.
The TaxPayers’ Alliance
- Matt Sinclair, the Chief Executive of the TPA since 2012, has joined Europe Economics as a Senior Consultant.
- Jonathan Isaby (formerly of this parish) has been promoted to Chief Executive.
- Dia Chakravarty, Deputy Director of The Freedom Association, has been appointed Jonathan’s successor as TPA political Director.
The Freedom Association
- Simon Richards, TFA’s Director and one of the nicest men in politics, has been promoted to Chief Executive to oversee a major expansion in the Association’s campaigns and events.
- Rory Broomfield, the remaining Deputy Director, becomes Director – and will still be running the Better Off Out campaign. The next couple of years will be hugely important for eurosceptics in particular, so the BOO campaign will become even more important.
- Andrew Allison, who built up a major grassroots network in his time as National Grassroots Co-ordinator at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, has been hired as TFA’s Campaign Manager, signalling an intention to aggressively expand the organisation.
- Jack Hart, Assistant Public Affairs Officer at the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), becomes TFA’s new Communications Manager.
It’s a strength of the centre right that over the last decade in particular it has grown beyond just the Conservative Party, and that there is an energetic ecosystem of thinkers and campaigners propelling the messages of liberty, prosperity, low taxes and free markets.
Those who’ve moved in this transfer window are just some of those who work extremely hard to keep that movement going – I’m sure each of them will do well for the cause in their new roles.