Number 10 Chief of Staff Praises “Magic” Kemi Badenoch to SpAds

Guido hears Downing Street Chief of Staff Liam Booth-Smith is doing his best to keep up morale at SpAd School, with Guido’s moles describing last week’s meeting as “more buoyant” than previous weeks – co-conspirators will recall Booth-Smith told pessimistic aides to quit immediately if they didn’t believe the Tories could win – and that he now has a “spring in his step” heading into conference. If there was any doubt, the gloves are finally off…

Having lost their erstwhile Director of Communications Amber de Botton last month, Number 10 are keen to find a new, bold approach going into the election year. Look no further than the Net Zero rollback last week. Booth-Smith was particularly impressed by Kemi Badenoch’s punchy interview with Sky News on that very topic. Apparently he described her entire media round performance as “magic“. They’ll need to cast a spell on voters next year after all…

Multiple sources described the new approach as the right call, though one did say “some soppy wets sat there with worried little faces“. Maybe they should have thrown in the towel when they had the chance…

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Last Night Rishi’s Chief of Staff Told Pessimistic Aides to Quit If They Don’t Think Tories Can Win

Guido hears Number 10 Chief of Staff Liam Booth-Smith took the gloves off last night at “SpAd school” – the weekly get together for the political operatives who lubricate Whitehall’s processes. According to Guido’s moles, Booth-Smith gave the team a stern lecture over their attitude towards the next election, with any pessimists told if they “don’t believe we can win” then they should resign now and get it over with. He went so far as to say he’d even help quitters find a new job if they’re honest enough to throw in the towel now. His promise that any SpAds who lost their jobs in future reshuffles would be looked after – suggesting that more will go – did not go down well in the room. Multiple sources say it was the most “honest” and frank they’d ever seen him. The Liam Booth-Smith Job Centre Plus is now open in Downing Street…

Guido reported yesterday on the underlying tensions within Number 10, with Liam Booth-Smith said to be shoring up his position with new hires like his friend Jamie Njoku-Goodwin. Last night’s Cummings-esque tough talk at SpAd school was clearly a wake-up call for demoralised SpAds after a wasted summer recess. Perhaps the beatings will continue until morale improves.

The upcoming government ‘reset’, with a wider (much-delayed) reshuffle before the King’s Speech, is part of the coming turnaround plan. The reality is that this morning another poll confirmed the Tories are trailing Labour by 20 points, and brought news that house prices fell 5.3% last month. According to pollsters Techne, confidence in the government’s ability to deal with the country’s priorities over the next 12 months has fallen over the summer. It now stands at net minus 17. The clock is ticking…

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Highest SpAd Salaries Ranked as Rishi-era Advisers Rake in Over £9,000,000 Annual Pay

Yesterday was ‘take out the trash day’ – or the last parliamentary sitting day before recess – meaning the government had the perfect opportunity to bury bad news. Amongst the buried releases was a delay to the government’s trans guidance, severance pay stats for Tom Scholar (£355,000), Chris Pincher (£7,920), Kwasi Kwarteng (£16,867) and Boris Johnson and Liz Truss (both £18,660) and of course… SpAd salaries. Included in the Annual Report on Special Advisers was the revelation that severance to Liz and Boris’s SpAds set the taxpayer back by £3,000,000. The government is currently spending £9,000,000 per year on Special Adviser salaries.

Rishi’s highest earning SpAds are:

  • Liam Booth-Smith: £140,000-144,999
  • Amber de Botton: £140,000-144,999
  • Eleanor Shawcross: £140,000-144,999
  • Will Tanner: £125,000-£129,999
  • Rupert Yorke: £125,000-£129,999
  • Nerissa Chesterfield: £110,000-£114,999
  • Aidan Corley: £110,000-£114,999
  • Cass Horowitz: £110,000-£114,999

Nice work, if you can get it…

Co-conspirators can read the full report below:

Read More

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Andrew Gilligan’s SpAd Hiring Cancelled

On December 6th Guido reported that Boris’s former SpAd Andrew Gilligan was making a return to government, as Home Office special advisor for crime policy. The hire was tweeted out that day and we received no dissenting correction from No. 10 or any other source. Weeks later, however, he’s nowhere to be seen. What’s happened?

Guido now hears his appointment has in fact been scrapped due to his outspoken opposition to HS2 during his period out of government. Appearing on GB News a month ago, he told viewers:

“I think it’s the biggest infrastructure mistake Britain’s done in at least 50 years, probably more. It’s enormously expensive, it’s taking vast sums of money out of better projects, projects that really could level up the country.”

Gilligan is of course completely right that the money would be better spent on upgrading other buts of the transport infrastructure. As a result of the criticism Guido understands he’s no longer set to join the Home Office. Bad luck Andrew…

N.B: Katie Lam has, however, joined the Home Office and is now on the SpAd list.

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Kemi Hires Dylan Sharpe

Kemi Badenoch has hired Theresa May’s former Head of Broadcast, Dylan Sharpe, as her new communications SpAd. The former Sun leader writer has of late been optimistically trying to convince the world that HS2 is worthwhile. He now joins Ed de Minckwitz and Aidan Corley as the latest May-era SpAd to re-join Government under Rishi. Something tells Guido he may not be the last…

Read the SpAd list in full below: Read More

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The Wonks of Rishi’s Government

Having now published the full, up-to-date SpAd list, Guido thought it’d be a good idea to see how the wonk composition has changed since Liz’s days.

Policy Exchange is still up there with six SpAds, and has opened a lead over the CPS who have dropped down to four.

Notably, the IEA, TPA and ASI have all fallen way back. As has, ahem, the number of Guido alumni…

  • Will Tanner – Onward
  • Nerissa Chesterfield – IEA
  • Sophie Falkner – PX
  • James Nation – PX and Reform
  • John Bew – PX
  • Francesca Fraser – Onward and PX
  • Adam Memon – CPS
  • Callum Price – CPS
  • Giles Dilnot – Legatum
  • Victoria Hewson – Legatum and IEA
  • Peter Quentin – Civitas
  • Rob Ede – Policy Exchange
  • Guy Miscampbell – Onward
  • Will Holloway – Onward
  • Ed Winfield – Henry Jackson
  • James Heywood – CPS
  • Robyn Staveley – CPS
  • Sophie Bolsover – Henry Jackson

Onward will be happy…

mdi-timer 22 November 2022 @ 15:48 22 Nov 2022 @ 15:48 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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