Chief Treasury Secretary Simon Clarke last night joked that “The last days of Rome, I think, were more fun” when pressed about the night of the long knives in Downing Street.
As the PM wakes up this morning to find four of his most senior advisors no longer coming into work, he also sees a rift in the Treasury, as Clarke publicly disagreed with Rishi Sunak over the Chancellor’s snub to the PM at last night’s press conference: “I wouldn’t have said it”.
Clarke told Channel 4 that Boris was “very clear about what he was saying about Keir Starmer in this regard… The Prime Minister was perfectly within his rights to point out that taking wider responsibility as the leader of an organisation is an appropriate thing to do.”
It’s not the first time there’s been a disagreement between Clarke and Sunak. Back in December it was reported Simon Clarke was among those ministers favouring more restrictions over Christmas, whereas Sunak was fighting against them in Cabinet. The last days of Rome were probably more unified than this…