The prime minister has hired one of his MPs to be his chief of staff and a TV journalist who was suspended from GB News for kneeling on air as his communications director.
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Boris Johnson has hired a new chief of staff and an advertising expert after five top advisers walked out this week.
Cabinet office minister and Tory MP Steve Barclay is being recruited as the new 10th chief of staff, while TV journalist Guto Harri becomes the prime minister’s top adviser.
Harri worked with Johnson as chief of staff when he was mayor of London and was suspended in July last year and later resigned from GBNews for kneeling in the air.
But the prime minister has yet to find someone to take on the role of Downing Street’s new permanent secretary.
Johnson said, “The changes to my senior team will improve the way No 10 operates.”
The Mirror understands that work to find a replacement for senior official Martin Reynolds began yesterday and would follow the standard Whitehall process, which could take some time.
The prime minister had already appointed a Conservative MP, Andrew Griffiths, to lead his policy team after the departure of longtime ally Munira Mirza.
A spokesman for Mr Barclay said: “The Prime Minister today appointed the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and the Minister of the Cabinet Office as Chief of Staff for 10 Downing Street.
“He will integrate the new Prime Minister’s Office and the Cabinet Office.”
Number 10 tried to frame Thursday’s mass departure of four senior staff members as part of its promised ‘shuffle’ in response to Partygate.
But pundits who suggested Downing Street was trying to mask the chaos created Mirza’s unexpected resignation.
“I’m going to turn off the lights when I leave the office tonight as I might be the only person left by then,” a No10 source said.
Johnson has been left struggling to fill vacancies left by chief of staff Dan Rosenfeld, top official Martin Reynolds and communications chief Jack Doyle.
The prime minister had tried to shore up support from his MPs by saying Australian doctor Lynton Crosby would return to help clean up the mess.
But Crosby is believed to be staying in Australia and was surprised to hear Johnson’s claims, with one source suggesting that even the “Wizard of Oz” thought the Johnson administration was “a lost cause”.
“Scrape up the barnacles and there’s no boat underneath,” they said.
Johnson said: “This week I promised changes, so that we can continue the work that the British public chose us to do. We need to continue our recovery from the pandemic, help hundreds of thousands more get jobs, and deliver on our ambitious agenda to bring the entire country back to a level, improving opportunities for people no matter where they’re from.
“The changes I am announcing to my senior team today will improve the way No. 10 operates, strengthen the role of my cabinet and banking colleagues, and accelerate our defining mission of leveling the country.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.