MP is tipped for top job in Government

TOP JOB: MP John Hayes is tipped as a possible Tory Chief Whip.
TOP JOB: MP John Hayes is tipped as a possible Tory Chief Whip.

MP John Hayes is tipped for a top job in Government that would give him an official residence in Downing Street.

National newspapers named Mr Hayes alongside two high profile politicians – Liam Fox and Eric Pickles – as contenders for the role of Tory Chief Whip in the wake of the Government’s defeat in the Syria vote.

But the South Holland and The Deepings MP emerged from a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday refusing to speculate about his future.

Mr Hayes, who works at 10 Downing Street following his appointment as Minister without Portfolio in March, said: “I never comment on such things.

“Obviously I am very happy with the job I am doing with the Prime Minister – I am working very closely with the Prime Minister. “It’s just a great thrill to be at the heart of Government and to be working in 10 Downing Street. Who wouldn’t want to do that?

“It never pays to speculate on one’s own future.

“I am grateful for the opportunities I have had and continue to have.”

Mr Hayes describes his current role as the “most exciting job that I have had in politics”.

Political commentators predict the current Conservative Chief Whip, Sir George Young, will lose his job in a Cabinet reshuffle expected to take place within weeks.

The Tory Whips are being blamed for David Cameron’s defeat in Thursday’s House of Commons vote.

Mr Hayes, who was elected to the Commons in 1997, served as Assistant Opposition Chief Whip in 2001.

As well as holding numerous Opposition posts, he was the Minister of State for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning from May 2010 to September 2012 – and Minister of State for Energy from September 2012 to March this year.

The Independent newspaper described Mr Hayes’ current role as “Mr Cameron’s link man with Tory backbenchers.”