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News, gossip and insight from PoliticsHome Editor Paul Waugh

PM gets political

Looks like the PM is responding to pressure from his MPs and ministers to give his No10 Policy Unit a more political edge.

Current head Paul Kirby is to leave in March, returning to KPMG, from where he came on secondment.

But here's the big news: Kirby will not be replaced by another civil servant..

Instead the new head of the Policy Unit will be a political appointment, I've been told. A special adviser will get the job because the PM feels the second half of a Parliament has different demands on policy from the first.

A No.10 spokesman just confirmed to me that Kirby was leaving and that the PM felt his work was excellent.

"The Prime minister thinks Paul did an excellent job recruiting and leading an excellent team."

I am told it was Kirby's decision to leave as he felt his main work had been done and the Mid-Term Review was a natural point to leave.

Under Blair and Brown the unit was led by a political appointee rather than a civil servant. Cameron felt it important to make a break with the Labour era, despite warnings that he may regret it (just as he was forced to appoint more spads).  Tory backbenchers will be pleased. So too will the spad corps.

It should make our next House magazine Guide to No.10 an even better read. For the current version see HERE

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