johnm wrote:It is possible that Williamson confided in a “special adviser” who leaked. It’s a relatively new role and one we could do without [/politics]
Having a very long nerdy view, I agree that the role (which, as a taxpayer-paid position but a Ministerial appointment, goes back to the '70s at least) is a 'relatively new' one. I think it can
be useful, as long as the Minister, the SAs, and the permanent (CS) officials in the Private Office fully understand and respect their roles and the proper limits thereof. It may be useful for a SA to remind a Minister with a brand new 'bright idea' to respond to a tabloid headline
that the Minister will have to be ready to defend any consequent policy at Party Conferences, which PUS cannot and will not do; while PUS will properly remind Minister that such a proposal will need Treasury approval or Primary legislation or both, which SA cannot do. Recent mischief has arisen when a Minister's SA sees his or her role as including, possibly as a primary duty, the promotion of the Minister (in the media and the 'tea rooms') at the expense of other Ministers, especially with a Leadership contention in the clear offing; and selective 'off the record' leaks and equivalent hints or refusals to deny seem a common tool in that function, with little regard to 'good governance' let alone genuine concerns about security.
(mere guide at) Jet Age Museum, Gloucestershire Airporthttp://www.jetagemuseum.org/
TripAdvisor Excellence Award 2015http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction ... gland.html