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October 22, 2010

Who told Danny Alexander to hide?

Something’s been bugging me since Wednesday’s Comprehensive Spending Review (by which I mean ‘It’s not been bugging me at all, but I thought I’d mention it anyway’). Who told Danny Alexander to hide? Let me explain, with the help of the images below. During the early stages of George Osborne’s speech, Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, was sat to the right, as we saw it, with Nick Clegg one space further along. Then, as seen in the second and third images below, a note got passed onto the front bench and along to Alexander. He opened it, read it and immediately shuffled along, behind Osborne, with Clegg, who had also read the note, taking his space. Alexander then spent the remainder of the speech hidden behind Osborne – to the extent that Osborne pretty much sat in his lap when he’d finished.

What was going on? Did someone want to limit the ‘reputational damage’ to the Lib Dems by only having one of them on display? Was it decided that Nick Clegg, deputy Prime Minister and Lib Dem leader, should be more prominent in the picture? Was Clegg hidden from the picture on non-widescreen televisions? Was Alexander too much of an unknown to be seen next to the chancellor in what was probably politically historic footage? I’d pay good money (the cost of a pint) to find out.

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