Article for MyLocal News

As Parliament approached the summer recess, some end of term excitement was provided by the Ministerial reshuffle.  I’m not sure that the rest of the country is necessarily all that excited by the process but MPs and political journalists whip ourselves up into a lather about who is up, down or out.
 
A feature of my career has been that I have been relatively unaffected by reshuffles.  I joined the opposition Treasury team in 2007, as it happens outside a big reshuffle but following a frontbencher resigning his position.  I got appointed to the Ministerial post that I had previously shadowed in 2010.  And since then, I’d stayed in place. 
 
There are advantages in ministers remaining in place for a while.  You get to understand the brief and you can see projects through.  But the Prime Minister also needs to balance that out with ensuring that there is fresh thinking and that ministers continue to challenge and question the received wisdom of a department.
 
In my case, I was keen to continue the tax portfolio that I have had in opposition and government for the last seven years and had had an indication that was likely.  That meant that I didn’t have an anxious Monday, fearing the phone call from Number 10 summoning me to one last ministerial meeting.
 
The dismissals were out the way on the Monday.  Tuesday was about appointments. 
 
As it happens, there was a visit to Parliament that day from a Chorleywood primary school that morning and I had arranged for them to visit Downing Street for a photo outside Number 10.  Quite understandably, this got cancelled although I was amused by thought of how the assembled press would have reacted to thirty eleven year olds marching up Downing Street on reshuffle day.  When people talked of the Government having a younger look… 
 
Given that I thought I would be staying the Treasury, I thought there was a fair chance that I wouldn’t get called.  However, it was while talking to the school group that the phone rang and I was asked to be in Downing Street in twenty minutes. 
 
‘Was that David Cameron?’ asked one of the pupils. ‘No, but it was his office.  I need to go and see him now.’
 
There then comes the walk up Downing Street, with reporters shouting questions.  The aim is to try not to look self-conscious.  I think I failed on that front.
 
The attention of the media – and particularly the newspapers the next day – was on the large number of women who were promoted.  And what they were wearing.  In my case, that wasn’t such a big issue but, for the record, I was wearing a dark blue, single breasted suit (Austin Reed), white shirt and blue and pink striped tie (both TM Lewins)!
 
Once inside Number 10, it is into a waiting room and then into the Cabinet Room for a meeting with the Prime Minister and one aide.  He offered me precisely what I wanted, continuing with the same responsibilities but as Minister of State rather than Parliamentary Under-Secretary.  In other words, another rung up the ladder.
 
I would no longer be Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury (a grand title but its history only goes back to the mid-1990s) but Financial Secretary to the Treasury, the traditional number 3 role in the department and a title created in 1830.
 
I suspect that our conversation was one of the easier ones for the Prime Minster.  It was then time for a quick word with the Chief Whip and then back along Downing Street before returning to my desk in the Treasury.  It was time to get back to work.
 

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Surgeries

David holds regular surgeries at various places in the constituency, including Rickmansworth, South Oxhey, Berkhamsted and Tring. 
 
Forthcoming dates:

2018
12th January - Berkhamsted
2nd February - Rickmansworth
9th February - Tring
23rd February - South Oxhey
9th March - Berkhamsted

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