10 January: The Guardian reports that education secretary Michael Gove has appointed a venture capitalist and enthusiastic supporter of academies to a post as an education minister.
By complete co-incidence John Nash has donated nearly £300,000 to the Tory party since 2006 – £288,000 since David Cameron became leader.
Nash runs a charity which sponsors a range of academies, but claims that he will be impartial in his new role.
8th January: The Telegraph reports that Lord Marland, the trade minister and former Conservative Party treasurer, is to resign to pursue outside interests. His resignation comes hot on the heels of Lord Strathclyde quitting to chase roles in the private sector.
The first resignation was a setback for the Prime Minister as he re-launched the Coalition with Nick Clegg at Downing Street on Monday.
Lord Marland’s decision to quit will be seen as a double blow, but the peer will stay on as the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to lead business delegations abroad. He will still go on planned trips to Libya, Japan and Los Angeles as part of his mission to sell Britain abroad.