Amber Won’t Be the Last Adviser to Quit mdi-fullscreen

For months rumours have been emerging from within Downing Street of continual strains and personality clashes within Sunak’s operation. Amber De Botton’s departure was sudden but not entirely unexpected – the press office are usually the first to be blamed even when it’s the message, not the messenger. Insiders point to questions being raised about the extent of De Botton’s willingness to support key government policies of a more robust conservative flavour. Her defenders – of whom it must be said there are many – say that she has been unfairly sidelined for months, with her now-promoted deputy Nerissa Chesterfield enjoying a better relationship with the PM. Amber’s detractors say she was too much drama – allegedly calling for issues to be escalated to COBRA three times in one week –  “‘Three Cobras’ is an order in Millbank Spice, not a media strategy” says one source. Either way, it’s not 100% amicable when your Director of Communications quits after less than a year.

At 20 to 25 points behind, there is an existential question facing Sunak’s SpAds – essentially, whether ‘to do an Amber’ – as Sunak’s Chief of Staff invited on Thursday night. Many have never worked in a field other than politics. If they don’t quit now, they have a diminishing chance of securing an advisory job in the private sector – perhaps some with the promised glowing reference from Liam Booth-Smith. Their market value will plummet closer to a Labour victory. One adviser told Guido the choice is now to commit hara-kiri by honourably staying, or to abandon ship for a lucrative lobbying career. The problem is Sunak’s vibe of limp managerialism does not inspire much self-sacrificing loyalty in the SpAd class, never mind voters.

mdi-tag-outline Downing Street
mdi-account-multiple-outline Amber De Botton Liam Booth-Smith Nerissa Chesterfield
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