No. 10 SpAds Trying to Escape

The exodus from Downing Street is becoming a major theme among senior Tories and the SpAd class. In the last few weeks Number 10 has lost its Director of Communications Katie Perrior, Press Secretary Lizzie Loudon and Official Spokesman Helen Bower. Last year education adviser Rachel Wolf went quietly after Theresa May pressed ahead with grammar schools. Philip Hammond’s SpAd Hayden Allan left last week. The election has provided an excuse for others to jump…

The PM’s social justice adviser Alex Burghart is on the selection shortlist for Eric Pickles’ Brentwood seat tonight. May’s long-serving SpAd Stephen Parkinson is on the shortlist in Saffron Walden. Iraq War hero Chris Brannigan, the Director of Government Relations at Number 10, is on the shortlist in Aldershot. “SuperSpAd” Sheridan Westlake has been strongly linked to several seats. This is a huge, unprecedented exodus…

In 2015, only Oliver Dowden left David Cameron’s Number 10 for the Commons. And that was an election many Tories thought they would lose. The vast majority of Cameron’s SpAds thought their time was better served in Number 10, that they would have more influence in Downing Street than in parliament. Large numbers of May’s SpAds have come to the opposite conclusion. Tory sources tell Guido the feeling is that unless you are in May’s close circle of trusted confidantes, you might as well leave and sit on the backbenches. They say the atmosphere in Number 10 is so toxic that many are desperate to leave. Guido is highly sceptical of rumours that the PM’s Joint Chief of Staff Nick Timothy wants to stand this time round – he is one of the few for whom staying is surely worth it. Though the fact this is even being discussed reveals much about what it is like to work in a Downing Street that will have huge vacancies to fill on June 9…




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Quote of the Day

Jo Swinson on Chris Rennard…

“Vince — and Tim before him — have repeatedly, publicly said Rennard is not welcome anywhere near their frontbench team, even as an adviser. I remain deeply frustrated that he was not expelled from the party through its disciplinary process. It just feels wrong, and I do not want Lord Rennard to continue as a member of the party. As far as I am concerned, he is not welcome.”

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