Is Brandon Lewis on the periphery of the cabinet and without a special adviser?

At the first meeting of the new cabinet last week, Brandon Lewis could hardly have been more distant from the Prime Minister, parked at one extreme of the oval table. Perhaps it was a metaphor for Northern Ireland’s lack of significance in Westminster now that Stormont is back at work and Brexit has been ticked off as ‘done’.

The Guido Fawkes political blog also reports that the new Northern Ireland Secretary of State has yet to appoint a special adviser.

Guido understands newly-appointed Northern Ireland Secretary, Brandon Lewis, is currently SpAd-less; which explains why he was spotted returning from his first official trip to his new district thumbing through his ministerial folder containing a document entitled “A beginner’s guide to the political scene in Northern Ireland”. Sounds like he urgently needs a hire – any Northern Ireland experts get in touch with him …

Presumably, James Brokenshire’s ex-SPAD Peter Cardwell need not apply for the vacancy after his most recent boss, Justice Secretary Robert Buckland, was forced by Number 10 to set him loose during the reshuffle last week.

Nor should Julian Smith’s advisers expect a call – even though Lilah Howson-Smith and Ross Easton had a good reputation for listening and steering their boss through NI’s political minefields.

Though maybe Dominic Cummings will have someone fresh and approved on his so-called “misfits and weirdos” list

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