Today’s blog by EDP political editor Joseph Watts: Downing Street denies reshuffle misdemeanours
09:41 07 September 2012
Good morning blog readers. Well, yesterday’s post appears to have caused a little stir.
As you will have seen, Downing Street issued a denial last night that Caroline Spelman’s sacking had anything to do with her age, at 54.
The spokesman said: “I don’t want to get into private conversations that the prime minister has had with his ministers over the last few days but the answer to the question [was she sacked because she is too old] is no. You asked me whether she was sacked because she was too old and the answer is no.”
That she was actually sacked because she was too old is something I don’t doubt. That doesn’t mean however, that what was said in the interview was not said.
There was also some suggestion that what was said to Spelman could not have been said because the older Ken Clarke had been kept on in his post, indeed Spelman’s replacement Owen Paterson is also older. But that kind of misses the point my source was making; which is that what was said was a silly thing to say.
Meanwhile Downing Street also denied the PM was drinking during the interview with Cheryl Gillan, but conceded there may have been wine in the room at the time.
For my part, I stand by the veracity of my source whose view was clear that the way the interviews were handled “betokened inexperience. It shows these people have not run anything before.”