Chris Grayling gets to be Tory party chairman… for all of 27 seconds
Theresa May's cabinet reshuffle was marred by a major digital cock-up.
Chris Grayling has been commended for avoiding any blunders or scandals during his brief tenure as Tory party chairman.
Theresa May's cabinet reshuffle descended into chaos this morning as Conservative HQ announced on Twitter that Grayling was the new party chairman – and then deleted the tweet moments later.
Sources suggested that the digital cock-up had been prompted by CCHQ staffers taking their cue from a BBC report and The Times named CCHQ political director Iain Carter as the guilty tweeter.
Immigration minister Brandon Lewis later arrived at Downing Street to be told he was to be made chairman instead.
As hacks got to grips with the news that Grayling’s tenure as party chairman had been terminated around 27 seconds after it was announced, tributes for the politician known as ‘Gray Thing’ poured in on social media.
"Personally, I think history will look at the Grayling era as Tory party chairman in a kinder light than is currently being reported," stated Mail on Sunday's Dan Hodges.
The Financial Times’s Sebastian Payne declared that Grayling’s time as Tory chairman had had been “better than his period as justice secretary”.
Fellow FT journalist Jim Pickard noted that Grayling had “avoided any major scandals” while The Guardian’s Gaby Hinsliff wondered whether it was “too soon to talk of a legacy”.
But the most effusive praise came from former Labour special adviser Paul Richards, who declared: “I think Grayling’s time at CCHQ will be seen as a golden age, free from gaffes or blunders.”