Number 10 Director of Communications Runners & Riders

Theresa May still does not have a Director of Communications following the departure of Katie Perrior at the election. There is a feeling in the government that she needs a star hire to communicate with the media and bring some gravitas to Number 10. As ever Guido brings you your runners and riders…

  • Chris Wilkins: May’s strategy chief was lined up for the role and has been filling in over the last few weeks. Highly regarded in Number 10. But it looks like they’re going for someone else…
  • Robbie Gibb: Head of BBC Westminster and boss of the Beeb’s main political programmes. Would bring much-needed broadcast news judgement and experience. Being tipped by government figures. [UPDATE: And The Sun.]
  • James Landale: Tipped by the Spectator as the celeb signing. His name has been doing the rounds among excitable Tories. Old Etonian…
  • James Slack: May’s civil service spokesman was linked to the job. Gets on well with the Lobby and has been holding things together in Number 10 at times. But he is said to be staying put as PMOS.
  • Joey Jones: Has been more nuanced in his criticisms of the May regime compared to other former colleagues. A pro with important broadcast experience. Doubt they can afford him.
  • Iain Dale: Experienced, former chief of staff for David Davis, could ease the transition of power? Very pro-Theresa May… 
  • Laura Kuenssberg: If you believe the Corbynistas…

Good luck…

SpAd List Latest: Sun Man In, Sun Man Out

Quite a few changes to the SpAd List since our last update. Chris Wilkins is the de facto Downing Street Director of Communications. He was May’s strategy chief and is highly thought of inside Number 10, though he is unknown to the Lobby. His job title – like the job titles of other Number 10 advisers – has been up in the air over the last few weeks. With the Queen’s Speech out of the way confirmation should soon be forthcoming. Bright Bluer James Marshall is the new policy chief, replacing ousted John Godfrey. The Prime Minister’s press secretary since the election has been former Sun man Craig Woodhouse. He is leaving government in the summer as was always the intention – Woodhouse is well-regarded in Westminster and will not be short of offers in the private sector. That means May still needs another press aide. 

One Sun man out, another Sun man in. The paper’s head of PR and leader writer Dylan Sharpe was due to join Damian Green before May called the snap election. The move is still on: post-reshuffle Sharpe will be moving with Green to the Cabinet Office.

Michael Fallon has hired Rob Oxley, CCHQ’s head of news during the election, as his new SpAd at the MoD. Oxley used to spin for Priti Patel at DfiD and was one of the main players at Vote Leave during the referendum.

There are at least seven or eight posts to fill at Number 10, Hammond still needs one or two more SpAds and Davis Davis still needs another SpAd, as does Priti. Full list below:

Get in touch with any updates…

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