Notting Hill set
The term Notting Hill set refers to an informal group of young figures who were in prominent leadership positions in the Conservative Party, or close advisory positions around the former party leader and Prime Minister, David Cameron.
The term was coined by Derek Conway in July 2004, before Cameron became leader. It was intended to be pejorative, as Conway was one of the 'bed blockers' preventing the party modernising. The term is in reference to all of them having lived in Notting Hill, in west London, although the group's two leading players, Cameron and George Osborne, no longer live in Notting Hill.
The set is often seen as symbolic of the wing of the party that dominated the leadership during Cameron's time as Conservative Party leader. It combines traditional centre right economic views with socially liberal and environmentally friendly stances on other issues. The group refer to themselves as the "Smith Square set" and at the time of the 1992 General Election, were often referred to as the "Brat Pack".
The following have been reported to be its members:
- David Cameron, Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Skills (2005), Leader of the Opposition (2005–2010) and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (2010–2016)
- George Osborne, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury (2004–2005), Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer (2005–2010), Chancellor of the Exchequer (2010–2016) and First Secretary of State (2015–2016)
- Michael Gove, Shadow Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (2007–2010), Secretary of State for Education (2010–2014), Chief Whip of the House of Commons (2014–2015) and Secretary of State for Justice (2015–2016)
- Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries (2010–2016)
- Nick Boles, Minister of State for Skills and Equalities (2014–2016)
- Steve Hilton, former Director of Strategy at Conservative Campaign Headquarters
- Rachel Whetstone, Hilton's wife and head of Google's division in Europe until June 2015
- Edward Llewellyn, Downing Street Chief of Staff (2010–2016)
- The Baroness Fall, Downing Street Deputy Chief of Staff (2010–2016)
- The Lord Feldman of Elstree, Chair of the Conservative Party (2010–2016)
Following the resignation of David Cameron, the remaining nine members were fully removed from power by Theresa May, following her victory in the leadership election of 2016, and the formation of the May Ministry in July 2016. However, following the 2017 General Election, Gove made a return to the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
- "Who are the Notting Hill Set?". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2018-09-03.
- Marie Woolf; Ben Russell (28 July 2004). "Tory leader put under pressure on three fronts". The Independent.
- Nicholas Watt (28 July 2004). "Tory central". The Guardian.
- Katherine Barney (3 March 2006). "The Tory Notting Hill Set sell up and move on; Cameron and his pals quit west London base". The Evening Standard.
- Beckett, Andy (2007-03-21). "Club Cameron: The truth about the team behind the Tory leader". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-09-03.
- http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/nickrobinson/2008/02 Make a million by helping the poor
- Snowdon 2010, p. 3.
- "Who are the Notting Hill Set?". The Daily Telegraph. 26 Feb 2006.
- Toynbee, Polly (2016-07-14). "May's regime change: a sulphurous hiss, and the Notting Hill set is gone | Polly Toynbee". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-09-03.
- Snowdon, Peter (2010) . Back from the Brink: The Extraordinary Fall and Rise of the Conservative Party. London: HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-00-730884-2.
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