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Why has David Cameron appointed his chum Ed Llewellyn to the Privy Council?

7 June 2015

8:15 AM

7 June 2015

8:15 AM

After the general election, Edward Llewellyn, the Prime Minister’s chief of staff, was made a Privy Councillor. Any member of the Privy Council is addressed as ‘Right Honourable’ and these words well describe Llewellyn’s character, so there is no problem there. But why should an adviser be given this role?

If you study the list (which, be warned, takes a long time), you will see that Privy Councillors are almost all MPs (or ex-MPs), peers or judges. This is because they are supposed to be, in some small way, powers in the land, people in their own right, rather than servants of the powerful. There are a few exceptions — Sir John Chilcot, for instance, so that he could see and hear things for his inquiry on ‘Privy Council terms’; and the Queen’s private secretary (presumably for a similar reason, since the Privy Council is the Queen’s).

But it has not, until now, been a reward for members of a political entourage. The rumour is that Llewellyn was to be made ambassador to Rome after the election. Perhaps because of the Tories’ unexpected majority, this has not happened, and so he stays in post, but Right Honourably. Not a good idea — yet another example of the chumocracy.


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