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Exclusive: Jesse Norman to leave No.10 policy board after Syria vote

4 September 2013

10:42 AM

4 September 2013

10:42 AM

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.

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  • Cornelius Bonkers

    Problem with Jesse Norman is that he is something approaching a CONSERVATIVE thinker hanging-out in a “Conservative” party which would not know a real CONSERVATIVE even if it called itself Salisbury, was clad in ermine, and had a heraldic shield stuck on its head. He hasn’t been sacked because of his conscience but BECAUSE unlike “call me Dave” he IS a conservative.

  • Lungfish

    On issues of life and death you should follow your gut not some bullshit political party

  • Coffee House TV

    Jesse Norman is certainly being invited to allow himself to be interviewed on Coffee House TV.

    If you’d like to help fund the pilot programme of Coffee House TV to enable the thoughtful, intelligent and challenging interviewing of subjects such as Jesse Norman, without sycophancy or constant interruptions then visit our crowdsourcing page and help us reach the development target.

  • Peter Stroud

    Perhaps Jesse Norman feared Assad would be toppled, only to be replaced by a fanatical Islamist government. And that most certainly is a distinct possibility. Only yesterday the BBC’s Middle Eastern correspondent, Jeremy Bohm, admitted that the number of Jihadists in the rebel militias had markedly increased. he also suggested that were a peace conference be arranged, these fanatics would never negotiate. The West should only go to war if the result is an improvement on the present. Christians, Kurds, Shia Moslems and secularists, currently tolerated, would suffer persecution in an Islamic Republic.

  • JunkkMale

    I had always imagined my MP to be my Parliamentary representative.

    Conforming to a whipped mandate on all things would render him essentially surplus to requirements at ballot time.

    The odd notion that a person asking for my proxy in the House may actually reflect my opinions and wishes, rather than leader or party dogma, is novel and refreshing, frankly.

    The tricky part is juggling what we agree upon and disagree upon across a variety of issues, and if any of these change for either of us. Can happen.

    Imperfect, like democracy, but it seems better than some alternatives.

  • The Laughing Cavalier

    Dave and the Miliband should both have had the guts to allow their MPs a free vote.

  • Graeme S

    Good riddance …… Abstaining is gutless rubbish .

    • Noa

      Tish Sir, and tish again.
      I have it on the very best authority that he is:-

      ‘The best constituency MP I’ve encountered in half a century’ .
      Why, his own website says so!

    • dmitri the impostor

      “Honey, I ain’t got no sideways,” as his statuesque namesake never said.

    • Cornelius Bonkers

      I agree, why not vote against?