Guido can reveal a raft of major departures from CCHQ and Number 10. Tory party Director of Communications Carrie Symonds is leaving CCHQ after 8 years working for the party and in government. A true green Tory, as anyone who follows her on Twitter has no doubt gathered, she is off to work in ocean conservation. Guido hears Symonds has been snapped up by Bloomberg to lead on their Vibrant Oceans Initiative at the Commonwealth Secretariat. Symonds will be a significant loss for CCHQ, popular with MPs and the Lobby, she has massively improved the place since coming back after the election. Congratulations…
She is not the only Brexiter leaving CCHQ. The Tories’ Head of Broadcast, Josh Grimstone, leaves after five years to become a SpAd at Defra. Grimstone worked on Vote Leave, is well-liked by MPs and has good contacts in parliament and the media from his time at Matthew Parker Street. Top hire by Michael Gove.
CCHQ stalwart and Head of Operations Richard N. Jackson is off after conference. He’s heading to Downing Street to cover for 10 months. “N”, as he is known affectionately by colleagues, is a former Tory head of press and has been at CCHQ for over a decade. Another major loss.
Over at Number 10, Guido can reveal Theresa May’s SpAd Ben Mascall is departing. Mascall, who has been at the heart of the Number 10 spin operation in charge of the grid for the last two years, previously worked at the MoD with Michael Fallon, and the CCHQ press office. He is off to make a small fortune in the private sector and will be missed in Downing Street. He is replaced by Rupert Yorke, who is currently David Lidington’s SpAd and used to work for Ben Gummer. Drinks on Mascall.
Richard Chew, a senior adviser in Theresa May’s political team, is also out. He’s leaving to work in America.
Jonathan Stock, a key aide on the PM’s events and visits team, is off to work at Portland Communications.
Raoul Ruparel, who was a SpAd to David Davis at Dexeu, is moving to Number 10 to advise on Brexit. DD’s other SpAd Tim Smith is moving to work for Jeremy Hunt at the Foreign Office. Final confirmation, not that it were needed, that Dexeu has been gutted of all responsibility for Brexit. Dom Raab, having hired Nick de Bois, is now searching for two more SpAds…
Ed Jones is following Hunt to the FCO, Lottie Dominiczak and Jamie Njoku-Goodwin will be moving to the Department of Health with Matt Hancock. God knows who’s going to be working for minister of fun Jeremy Wright.
Localis chief executive Liam Booth–Smith has turned down a job as Director of Policy at Policy Exchange to SpAd for James Brokenshire.
Let us know any more moves…
David Davis has finally hired his policy SpAd, signing up Open Europe director and top EU wonk Raoul Ruparel to join the Brexit department. Ruparel is praised by former colleagues as one of the finest minds around on Europe. So what does he believe?
He has said there is “no doubt” Britain should leave the customs union. He has blasted Remainers’ obsession with a ‘Hard’ and ‘Soft’ Brexit as “vague and loaded”. He has repeatedly suggested that Britain could be granted limited access to the single market and that Juncker’s dismissal of an “a la carte” option means “little or nothing”. He has praised Donald Tusk for recognising discontent with Brussels and implicitly criticised Juncker for failing to do so. He said the EU parliament’s appointment of Guy Verhofstadt as their negotiator was “not ideal”. He says it may take longer than two years to leave. Before the referendum, Ruparel wrote that Europhiles would only have themselves to blame if they lost:
The decision not to impose transitional controls on new EU member countries from Eastern Europe undoubtedly boosted anti-EU and anti-migration sentiment. The public were told not to worry, and that migrant flows would be small. Clearly they were not. The result was an avidly pro-migration government that failed to clarify the underlying economic and political arguments in favor of migration, and failed to bring the public with it… a political elite in the UK (and the EU) who failed to properly communicate their decisions or bother to explain why further integration was necessary, or even desirable. This gulf has grown consistently over the past two decades and has a great deal to do with the rise of UKIP, deepening divisions in the Conservative Party and the promise to hold a referendum on the UK’s EU membership. So why does all this matter? Europhiles seem to forget they have lost the war — the UK is now a Eurosceptic country.
He wasn’t wrong…