Tories deny key adviser Andrew Cooper set to quit in bid to fend off 'nasty party' tag
Downing Streeet struggled to fend off speculation yesterday that David Cameron is on the point of losing another of the advisers who helped him steer the Conservative Party away from its "nasty party" image.
Andrew Cooper, Mr Cameron's pollster, who has spent more than 15 years trying to impress on the Conservative Party the need to adapt and modernise, is said to be leaving because of professional disagreements with the Tories' Australian-born election strategist, Lynton Crosby.
Downing Street issued a formal denial of a story in the Mail on Sunday that Mr Cooper was going back to Populus, the private polling company he co-founded, but without any further comment or explanation. Mr Cooper is a controversial figure in Tory circles, because of his role in persuading David Cameron to legalise gay marriage.
If Mr Cooper does leave, he won't be the first "modernising" Downing Street adviser to quit No 10. Others include Steve Hilton, Cameron's director of strategy, in March 2012, Sean Worth, Cameron's adviser on public service reform, in June 2012, James O'Shaughnessy, head of policy, in October 2011, Tim Chatwin, head of strategic communications, in September 2011, and technology adviser Rohan Silva in April 2013.
- 1 Man who was struck and killed by lightning in Brecon Beacons 'was carrying a selfie stick'
- 2 Lisa Randolph-Gant: Queen Elsa cake maker says she will carry on baking and will not let people 'break her spirit'
- 3 Tube strike: This pedestrian-friendly map tells you the time it takes to walk between stations
- 4 Pamplona Running of the Bulls 2015: Three men gored and 10 hospitalised on first day of festival
- 5 Sarah Jessica Parker explains why she is not a feminist: 'It's not just about women now'
Man who was struck and killed by lightning in Brecon Beacons 'was carrying a selfie stick'
Greece debt crisis: Greek future in the euro slips into deeper uncertainty as Alexis Tsipras arrives at emergency talks without a written plan
Man soars over Calgary after tying 110 balloons filled with helium to his lawn chair for PR stunt, gets arrested for mischief
Tube strike: This pedestrian-friendly map tells you the time it takes to walk between stations
Pamplona Running of the Bulls 2015: Three men gored and 10 hospitalised on first day of festival
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts
Greece debt crisis: Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande issue Athens with 24-hour ultimatum to avoid crashing out of the euro
Greece crisis: Referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its lack of genuine legitimacy
£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Analyst is required ...
£16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To succeed, you will need to ha...
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an award winni...
£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...