Cameron aide in US TV gaffe

By Charles Maggs

Advisors in No 10 spend most of their time dealing with "crisis management" according to David Cameron's deputy chief of staff Oliver Dowden.

The alarmingly honest admission came in an interview with a small public broadcaster in the Rocky Mountains, but the story has snowballed.

Dowden said the epicentre of government is not "permanently in crisis but dealing with the issues that arise on a day to day basis."

He went on to add: "I'm surprised on a day-to-day basis, there's no accounting for the conduct of individuals."

The interview was laughed off by the prime minister's spokesperson in this morning's lobby briefing.

"I think all of us are surprised on occasion by what's in the news," he joked.

Downing Street's crisis management team have been in overdrive in recent weeks with the Andrew Mitchell 'plebgate' affair finally coming to an end with the chief whip's resignation on Friday night.

Cameron has faced criticisms from within the Tory party for listening to advice from too narrow a group within the heart of government and is now believed to be chasing former political strategist Lynton Crosby, the Times newspaper reported.

Crosby has masterminded two mayoral victories for London mayor Boris Johnson and it is hoped that he will be on to lead the Tories into the next election, starting next spring.

The PM has struggled to replace his former advisor Steve Hilton who has moved to California to take an extended 'sabbatical'.

Hilton was known for his casual dress sense and 'blue sky thinking' when it came to policy. He was one of the PMs biggest allies in his 'big society' agenda.