The saga of whether Lynton Crosby, the hard-charging Australian strategist who ran Boris Johnson’s successful mayoral campaigns, will join the Cameron operation continues. I understand that contrary to popular belief the obstacle to Crosby coming in is not the money. One senior source tells me that ‘If it was just about money, Andrew Feldman would be sent out to raise it’. Amongst senior figures, there’s also confidence that a compromise could be reached on both Crosby’s desire for control of polling and his desire not to lose all of his current corporate clients.
But the blockage is the level of control that Crosby wants. There’s a sense among the Number 10 team that coalition means that the normal political rules don’t apply. There’s a worry that attempting to extract the maximum political benefit from every decision would soon become self-defeating as it would undermine the relationships that underpin the coalition.
Most Tories in government that I’ve spoken to are keen to see Crosby arrive before the next election. There’s a sense that he would, to use the Australian phrase, ‘add a bit of mongrel’ to the operation, bringing in some of the political street fighting skills that are needed. Some also relish the idea of unleashing him on the civil service. As one said to me after reading Sue Cameron’s column this morning, ‘I’d love to set him on Jeremy Heywood’.Tags: 2015 general election, Lynton Crosby, UK politics