…as Maurice woos Conservative Party

Maurice Saatchi’s continuing association with the highest echelons of the Tory party was confirmed yesterday when he was seen visiting 12 Downing Street – the office of the Government chief whip.

Speculation has been rife in political circles that the New Saatchi Agency will spirit the Conservative account away from Saatchi & Saatchi.

The Conservative Party refuses to comment on its future relationship with Saatchi & Saatchi, not least because it still owes it a significant sum from the last General Election campaign.

Some Conservative MPs believe Maurice Saatchi would like to recapture the party account, more for its prestige than its profitability.

He retains close personal links with senior ministers and his visit to the office of the chief whip Richard Ryder may have been nothing more than renewing an acquaintance.

But his unexpected appearance in Downing Street is a further sign that come the next election it will be the new, rather than the old, Saatchi agency that will mastermind Prime Minister John Major’s bid for a fifth successive Tory election victory.