As the post-Coulson rumour mill trundles onward, spokesmen for Osborne and Clegg Ramesh Chhabra and Rae Stewart both enter the running with Ladbrokes at 16/1 alongside Deputy Editor of the Wall Street Journal Europe Iain Martin at 25/1. Here is our recap of the main runners:
Ian Birrell (5/4) – Birrell left his job as deputy editor of The Independent in March last year, having held the role since 1998. Shortly afterwards he assumed a position as speechwriter for David Cameron for the duration of the election campaign. Birrell is rumoured to be Steve Hilton’s preferred choice for the role.
Guto Harri (3/1) – Harri was appointed as Boris Johnson’s chief spin doctor in October. He began his career in Welsh language presenting and went on to present current affairs programming on the BBC until 2007. He was approached by David Cameron for a job shortly after leaving the BBC.
George Pascoe-Watson (5/1) – Like Coulson, Pascoe-Watson’s pedigree is with News International having served at The Sun for 22 years raising to the rank of political editor, before leaving to join the Portland PR agency in 2009.
Daniel Finkelstein (10/1) – Former SDP candidate, Finklestein joined the Tories after the Liberal-SDP merger. He directed the Social Market Foundation think-tank before joining the Conservative Research Department, and then advising William Hague. The politician-cum-journalist is currently Executive Editor and Chief Leader writer at The Times.
Tom Bradby (10/1 from 16/1) – The ITV political editor and sometime novelist is the latest mover in an increasingly volatile market having been tipped for the job by many respected figures over the weekend.
Benedict Brogan (12/1) – Brogan is currently Deputy Editor of The Daily Telegraph, having joined in 2009 after 5 years as political editor at the The Daily Mail. Although hotly tipped, he denies that he is in the running.
As Hopi Sen remarked recently:
Speculation over who will replace Coulson means we can update my list of “Which journalists are definitely Tories”.