Amber Rudd hires Lynton Crosby's firm to help defend marginal seat
Amber Rudd has enlisted election guru Lynton Crosby to help her defend her Hastings and Rye seat from a Labour challenge.
The Home Secretary's hopes of a future tilt at the Tory leadership suffered a serious blow when her majority tumbled from 4,796 to just 346 at the snap election in June.
The Times reports that Ms Rudd has now engaged Mr Crosby's company, CTF Partners, as she looks to hold on to the seat.
Mr Crosby worked on both of Boris Johnson's successful mayoral campaigns, as well as on David Cameron's surprise 2015 general election victory.
A report in the Sunday Times last week revealed that a group of leading liberal Tories favour Ms Rudd as a potential successor to Mrs May, and claimed she was interested in discussing a possible campaign.
Were she to make a bid to replace Theresa May before the next general election she would have to convince colleagues she could hold on to her seat, which is being heavily targeted by Labour.
Jeremy Corbyn himself visited the south coast constituency over the summer for a rally, while campaign group Momentum has begun a 'Get Rid of Rudd' campaign.
A CTF spokesman confirmed they were working with Ms Rudd, but stressed it was only on constituency matters, with a separate source saying any suggestion of helping with a leadership bid were "far-fetched and wrong".