Members of David Cameron’s Cabinet have been banned from taking ideas in to meetings with them, say Downing Street sources.
The new prime minister told his ministers the rule at their first Cabinet meeting yesterday morning. There was laughter in the room when Mr Cameron had to call Justice Secretary Ken Clarke to attention, as he was still thinking for himself as the meeting was about to begin.
Mr Cameron told his Cabinet: “We owe it to the electorate to govern as we campaigned: with little originality, barely any substance, no critical thinking and only slavish loyalty to the idea of power.” Observers say the move is unlikely to present much of a problem to many ministers, and represents a clean break from the previous government. Under Gordon Brown, ideas were positively encouraged in Cabinet, although only if they were Peter Mandelson’s to begin with.