Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Jim Armitage: Michael Fallon, the deft avoider of flak

  • @ArmitageJim

Outlook Michael Fallon is brainy and urbane in equal measure. Perhaps that is how he has been so clever as to escape much of the Royal Mail flotation fiasco flak. For, while Department of Business insiders say it was largely he who had day-to-day responsibility for getting away the Mail sale, it was Vince Cable’s flanks which took the bulk of the critics’ birdshot.

So it’s a testament to Mr Fallon’s political deftness that, despite presiding over what was one of the worst scandals of this administration, he has managed to rock up to the bigger job of running the Ministry of Defence. There, he will be charged with overseeing a £38bn budget and a possible reopening of the stalled process of privatising parts of MoD procurement.

With his own department to run, he might not find it so easy to dodge the next round of bullets – wherever they come from. Just ask Vince.