CCHQ Press Chief Finally Enters SpAd-dom

Guido can reveal that CCHQ’s long-serving head of press, Harriet Smith, has finally achieved SpAd-dom after almost seven years working for the party. Smith joins newly-appointed chief whip Chris Heaton-Harris. Guido’s old enough to remember the Mail reporting Smith would never make the jump…

The news follows the appointment of Oscar Reddrop to replace Ed Oldfield as No. 10’s broadcast SpAd over the weekend. Hopefully his work in No. 10 creates better output than his time on the Shaun Bailey mayoral campaign…

There’s still one gap following February’s night of the long knives, which saw the infamous clear-out of No. 10 staff. In the wake of Munira Mirza’s departure from the policy unit Elena Narozanski followed her out the door, leaving a gap as No. 10’s ‘Women & Equalities, DCMS and Extremism” adviser. Surely a crucial position to have vacant as they introduce the Online Harms Bill to parliament…

Read the SpAd list in full below:

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The SpAd Reshuffle

Now the dust has settled on last week’s reshuffle, Guido thought co-conspirators might want an update to the SpAd state of play:

While the joint No. 10 + No. 11 team is staying the same, Robert Jenrick’s ex-advisor Olivia Oates is joining newly-appointed Chief Secretary Simon Clarke as his SpAd.

Newly-promoted Cabinet Office secretary Steve Barclay has taken his ex-treasury SpAd Aled Maclean-Jones with him, and has been joined by former Dowden SpAd Amy Milner, as revealed by Playbook this morning.

Dominic Raab’s team has lost Rob Oxley who The Sunday Times revealed to be joining Nadine Dorries at DCMS. Guido understands Roxley will be her media SpAd while Hudson Roe, who’d only just returned to DCMS under Dowden, has been asked to stay on to work on policy.

Guido hears Anne-Marie Trevelyan has poached Will Holloway, a former DfIT advisor himself and more recently deputy director of Onward.

Kwasi Kwarteng has scooped up Marcus Natale from No. 10’s research and briefing team as a new policy SpAd to cover the energy and climate change brief.

Gove’s Cabinet Office team is following him over to the newly-branded Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities in full.

Oliver Dowden has taken Emily Maister and Lucy Noakes with him to CCHQ, while Mike Crowhurst is our first paternity leave entry on the list.

Teams remaining the same include those working for Patel, Javid, Coffey, Eustice, Shapps, Lewis, Hart, Rees-Mogg and Lord Frost.

Many newly-appointed secretaries of state, including Anne-Marie Trevelyan and Nadhim Zahawi are interviewing for positions from today. Successful candidates can get in touch here

Read the list in full below…

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mdi-timer 20 September 2021 @ 13:13 20 Sep 2021 @ 13:13 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Brexit SpAd’s Cyber Hack

Despite the obvious enthrallment of the LibDem leadership election, the question on the minds of Westminster SpAds today is who was behind the suspected recent hacking of a government mobile phone belonging to one of No. 10’s EU negotiation team members. Fellow SpAds were alerted to the security breach after the SpAd left a number of WhatsApp chats and Guido understands the civil service advised them to wipe the phone clean. Who would have most to gain from hacking the phone of a member of the country’s Brexit negotiation team? 

mdi-timer 27 August 2020 @ 14:05 27 Aug 2020 @ 14:05 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
DEFRA Beefs Up Media Spin

Guido wishes popular Tory hunk Josh Grimstone a big congratulations on his promotion this morning to the role of Michael Gove’s media SpAd following the resignation of James Starkie last week. Starkie just could not stomach May’s EU Withdrawal Agreement and resigned on principle. No such problem for former Leave campaigner Josh’s washboard stomach.

Josh first joined DEFRA as a SpAd in July. Guido thinks the former CCHQ Head of Broadcast is a good fit, and sure to beef up Gove’s media presence. Josh is lucky to be promoted in DEFRA, after all his hot bod – as evidenced by his glamourous Instagram page – must be contributing quite a bit to global warming…

mdi-timer 26 November 2018 @ 10:40 26 Nov 2018 @ 10:40 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
SpAd Movements

A couple more SpAd movements for Guido to tell you about following last week’s changes. Congratulations to Steph Lis, who is off to work for Dom Raab at Dexeu. Steph is a well-known face in Westminster wonk world, having been at the Institute of Economic Affairs for the last six years. She is a top communicator and and brings some soundness to Whitehall having spent the last few years defending freedom. Good hire.

Gavin Williamson has hired Thomas Harding to spin for him at the MoD. Harding is a former journalist who previously had the defence beat at the Telegraph. Good luck…

mdi-timer 9 August 2018 @ 07:57 9 Aug 2018 @ 07:57 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
SpAd Moves: Major Departures From CCHQ and Number 10

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 BoothSmith has turned down a job as Director of Policy at Policy Exchange to SpAd for James Brokenshire.

Let us know any more moves…

mdi-timer 2 August 2018 @ 11:43 2 Aug 2018 @ 11:43 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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