Andrew Rawnsley’s potted hierarchy of the coalition government – and especially its final
sentence – is worth pulling out for the scrapbook:
"There is still, of course, an inner circle. When not abroad, the first key fixture of the day at Number 10 is the strategy meeting. Its usual attendees include George Osborne, the
chancellor; Andy Coulson and Steve Hilton, his director of communications and his senior strategist; Jeremy Heywood, the permanent secretary at Number 10; the prime minister’s chief and deputy
chief of staff, Ed Llewellyn and Kate Fall. Note that Nick Clegg is not on that list. He belongs to the next circle of influence around David Cameron. That still puts the Lib Dem leader much
closer to the centre of power than many of the prime minister’s Tory colleagues in the cabinet. David Cameron has been heard to remark: ‘I get far more trouble from Ken Clarke, Liam Fox
and Iain Duncan Smith than I do from Nick.’"