Jesse Norman is to leave the Number 10 policy board after abstaining in last week’s vote on Syria, I have learned.
It was made clear to the Tory MP, who is known to have disagreed with the government’s position on Syria, that this was an inevitable consequence of avoiding a three-line whip vote. But I understand that the decision was made more in sorrow than in anger, and sources hope the path back for Norman will be a quick one.
An announcement on his replacement will be made shortly. The policy board hasn’t, as I revealed in the politics column last week, gelled brilliantly yet, but colleagues found Norman impressive to work with. He is unlikely to be on the backbenches for long.
P.S. Norman is sixth on the Order Paper for today’s PMQs. Which will be interesting.
Give something clever this Christmas – a year’s subscription to The Spectator for just £75. And we’ll give you a free bottle of champagne. Click here.