Boris Johnson’s senior adviser Dominic Cummings has tightened his grip on Number 10 with a shake-up of operations at the heart of government.
Politico reports that Johnson has appointed three new deputy chiefs of staff, with a former Michael Gove adviser promoted, along with a former Vote Leave veteran, and a protégé of Cummings.
Number 10 insists that the reshuffle is intended to give the prime minister more of a ‘grip’ on the big issues of the day – namely Brexit and the coronavirus.
But it has been seen by others as a further tightening of Cummings’ grip on Downing Street.
Henry Cook is said to be one of the ‘more experienced’ special advisers, having previously worked for Gove.
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Cleo Watson previously worked for Dominic Cummings in the Number 10 private office.
Katie Lam, a former business adviser, is considered a ‘protégé’ of Cummings, and has been put in charge of HR at Downing Street.
Leaving government is Matt Hancock’s long-serving special adviser Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, who moves to a chief executive role at UK Music.
Allies of the government claim that Cummings is now trying to act as a chief of staff on top of his existing work.
One told the Sunday Times: ‘Dom has been trying to be chief of staff, chief strategist and cabinet secretary as well. It’s too much.’