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.

mdi-timer 20 December 2022 @ 15:52 20 Dec 2022 @ 15:52 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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

mdi-timer 19 December 2022 @ 17:28 19 Dec 2022 @ 17:28 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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
Rishi’s Remainer Advisor Revealed as Guido Publishes Full SpAd List

Guido has acquired the full internal SpAd list, and is pleased to say he was only missing eight names from the line-up.

Most eyebrow-raising, given the current spat about No. 10 going soft on Brexit and moving towards a ‘Switzerland-style deal’ is the appointment of Will Dry to No. 10. Will is best known in SW1 for parading around with Femi during the Brexit years as part of the anti-Brexit Our Future, Our Choice movement (OFOC), attempting to reverse the referendum result. Dry by name, not by nature…

Guido won’t replay the many, many articles and media appearances from Dry during the referendum years. Suffice it to say he was heavily involved with Rishi’s leadership campaign and has multiple photos out there posing with Femi. Not something that sends many good signals.

He co-led OFOC with the Times’ Lara Spirit – let’s all keep an eye on her future scoops…

Among other SpAd appointments is the return of Rajiv Shah, constitutional boffin who worked throughout Boris’s years in No. 10 and has returned jointly to No. 10 as well as the Attorney General’s office.

Other appointments include:

  • Sophie Bolsover – Chief Whip
  • Michael Stott – Home Office
  • Beth Armstrong – Ministry of Justice
  • Dan O’Neill – No. 10
  • Myles Stacey – No. 10
  • Will Dry – No. 10
  • Leonora Campbell – No. 10
  • Declan Lyons – No. 10

Among names not on the official list yet, Ed Leech has joined Mark Harper as his comms SpAd at Transport. Alex Kay has returned from a brief post-Truss hiatus to join Thérèse Coffey at DEFRA. You’re either in front of Guido…

UPDATE: Nigel Farage tells Guido:

“Will Dry is one of the most prominent Remain campaigners in the country, so he will feel right at home in Rishi’s Number 10. How much more evidence do we need that this government are selling out on Brexit?”

Read the SpAd list in full below:

Read More

mdi-timer 21 November 2022 @ 16:09 21 Nov 2022 @ 16:09 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Rishi Sets About Dismantling Liz’s No. 10 Reforms

Almost all of Liz Truss’s radical restructuring of No. 10 has been undone by Rishi, Guido understands. From Liz’s first days in office she made it clear her Downing Street operation would be run very differently to recent iterations and set about moving swathes of SpAds out of No. 10 as well as de-prioritising the press office.
How did that work out?

One of her main campaign promises – directed to MPs – was that the press office had become too important in Downing Street’s day-to-day operations, and would be moved out of No. 12 after having been based there since Alastair Campbell’s days. Instead, Liz promised, the whips office would move back in to improve party management. Again, it didn’t go to plan…

In the last two weeks, Rishi has reversed both of these changes. Liz also moved dozens of SpAds out of Downing Street and into the Cabinet Office, under the control of Cabinet Office Economic & Domestic Secretariat – run by Rachel Reeves‘ husband.

Under Liz, the data science unit, legislative affairs unit, delivery unit and much of the Boris-era policy unit moved out of No. 10.
While data science and delivery are staying put under Rishi, legislative affairs and the policy unit have moved wholesale back into No. 10.

Among these structural changes, Guido’s list continues to grow. The policy unit is getting filled rapidly, with Eleanor Shawcross in as head of policy, James Nation as her deputy and Douglas McNeill as the PM’s economic advisor. Jean Andre Prager is back as DWP & DCMS advisor – Rishi is his fourth PM, making him the spiritual deputy to Sheridan Westlake…

Following his scoop last week that Will Tanner is moving back to No. 10 as Rishi’s deputy chief of staff, Guido can add that Will is one of two deputy chiefs of staff, with long-time aide Rupert Yorke taking the political deputyship and Tanner the policy deputyship.

Lisa Lovering is in as head of operations, and former Boris and Zac Goldsmith advisor Nathan Johnson Paul is in the political team.
Guido’s pleased to say he now has at least one SpAd nailed down for each department. As ever, get in touch with any updates…
Read the list in full here and below:

Read More

mdi-timer 7 November 2022 @ 11:54 7 Nov 2022 @ 11:54 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Will Tanner is Rishi’s Pick for Deputy Chief of Staff

Guido hears that centrist think tank Onward’s Will Tanner is returning to No. 10 as Rishi’s deputy chief of staff. Hopefully Theresa May’s policies and strategy won’t be following him in through the famous black door…

mdi-timer 2 November 2022 @ 18:23 2 Nov 2022 @ 18:23 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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