Number 10 fuels election rumours by cancelling advisers' holiday until October 31

PUBLISHED: 15:27 09 August 2019 | UPDATED: 15:33 09 August 2019

Government advisors will have to unpack any holiday suitcases after Number 10 cancelled all leave until after October 31. Picture: Leszek Czerwonka/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Government advisors will have to unpack any holiday suitcases after Number 10 cancelled all leave until after October 31. Picture: Leszek Czerwonka/Getty Images/iStockphoto

LeszekCzerwonka

Downing Street has cancelled all leave for government advisers in the run up to October 31, when the UK is scheduled to leave the EU.

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Boris Johnson's chief strategic adviser Sir Edward Lister has emailed all special advisers telling them to hold off booking any holiday until the end of October.

The move is likely to fuel speculation that ministers are preparing the ground for a general election after MPs return to parliament on September 3.

In his email, seen by The Guardian, Sir Edward told staff there had been "some confusion about taking holiday".

He said no leave should be booked until October 31 and that compensation would be considered "on case by case basis" for those who already had holidays booked.

"There is serious work to be done between now and October 31 and we should be focused on the job," the email said.

A government source said the decision reflected Johnson's determination to ensure the country was fully prepared for Brexit when the time came.

"The government has been very clear that it has got to deliver exit from the EU on October 31, with or without a deal," the source said.

"One of the ways to get Whitehall working is through special advisers."

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