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News, gossip and insight from PoliticsHome Editor Paul Waugh

Chloe and Cam

Chloe Smith's meteoric promotion was no surprise to her many admirers, not least those who know how much she has impressed David Cameron since her by-election win.

I've now been told a version of just how the PM broke to his wunderkind the news of her elevation to the Treasury  - and it underlines his determination to hire her.  The phone call went roughly like this:

PM: "Hi Chloe, Prime Minister here, I'd like to offer you the post of Economic Secretary to the Treasury"

Chloe: "Well, thank you Prime Minister....It would be an honour, but the Treasury.... it's a little daunting..."

PM: "Not daunting surely for someone who was a chartered accountant?"

Chloe: "Er, well, actually Prime Minister, I wasn't an accountant. I was a management consultant in an accountancy firm."

PM: "Never mind! Welcome aboard!"

It sounds wonderfully authentic, given the way Prime Ministers appoint their ministers over the phone*. For the record, English lit graduate Chloe worked for Deloitte's - that must be why his intel was slightly awry.

Still, she'd better be good with numbers now...

 

 

*FOOTNOTE: It reminds me of the time Blair rang the wrong guy to offer him a job in an early reshuffle. Back in his first term, he rang Bernard (Lord) Donougue, Harold Wilson's former policy adviser, to offer him a minsterial post at Agriculture.

But it was only mid-way through the conversation that Blair realised that the man on the other end of the phone was actually Brian Donohoe, a humble backbencher. Blair quickly realised his error and the shortest ever ministerial job offer was quickly ended.

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