Four top aides desert UK’s embattled Johnson



2022-02-04 03:02:28

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson attends a coronavirus pandemic media briefing at Downing Road, London, on February 15, 2021. Picture: Reuters/Stefan Rousseau
  • Downing Road confirmed that chief of workers Dan Rosenfield was leaving.
  • Johnson’s principal personal secretary Martin Reynolds additionally determined to stop.
  • Director of communications Jack Doyle and head of coverage Munira Mirza introduced their resignations as effectively. 

London: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson suffered 4 workers defections on Thursday as strain intensified on the embattled chief over lockdown events and his loose-lipped model of politics.

One of many departures was linked to an inflammatory comment made by Johnson, attacking opposition Labour chief Keir Starmer over a infamous paedophile.

“Being honest, I wouldn’t have said it and I’m glad the prime minister clarified it,” finance minister Rishi Sunak mentioned in a rare rebuke of his boss throughout a televised information convention.

Sunak is tipped as a number one contender to exchange Johnson, if a brewing Conservative revolt towards the prime minister develops additional.

Downing Road confirmed that chief of workers Dan Rosenfield was leaving, simply over a yr after he took on the function with a short to professionalise Johnson’s chaotic operation.

His resignation comes after a top civil servant, in a long-awaited inquiry, this week condemned “failures of leadership” in Downing Road over a sequence of events held in violation of Covid restrictions.

Additionally going is Johnson’s “principal private secretary”, Martin Reynolds, who despatched a now-notorious electronic mail in Might 2020 urging Downing Road workers to “bring your own booze” to 1 lockdown gathering.

Johnson “thanked them both for their significant contribution to government and No 10, including work on the pandemic response and economic recovery”, a spokesperson mentioned.

Their departures had been confirmed not lengthy after these of two different top advisors — director of communications Jack Doyle and head of coverage Munira Mirza.

Based on the Each day Mail, Doyle instructed colleagues as he left: “It was always my intention to do two years. Recent weeks have taken a terrible toll on my family life.”

Doyle was implicated within the “partygate” affair after attending at the least one Downing Road occasion that’s underneath investigation by police.

Johnson’s long-term ally Mirza stop after the prime minister tried to hyperlink Labour’s Starmer to the failure by UK authorities to prosecute veteran TV host Jimmy Savile, who died in 2011 aged 84.

Whereas alive, Savile was seen as a extensively cherished presenter. However after his demise accusations emerged that he had been a serial abuser of a whole lot of youngsters, with out going through prosecution.

In parliament on Monday, Johnson shocked many on his personal aspect when he aired a conspiracy concept prevalent amongst far-right teams that Starmer had personally did not prosecute Savile when he was director of state prosecutions in England and Wales from 2008 to 2013.

Underneath Starmer’s watch, police determined to not press fees towards Savile regardless of widespread suspicions about his behaviour.

Starmer was not personally concerned within the choice, and he accused Johnson of “parroting the conspiracy theories of violent fascists to try to score cheap political points”.

Johnson belatedly tried to backtrack late Wednesday, after robust criticism from some Tory MPs, sections of the media and a lawyer representing victims of Savile.

However Mirza mentioned that didn’t go far sufficient, in response to her resignation letter reported by the Spectator journal.

Johnson’s comment in parliament “was an inappropriate and partisan reference to a horrendous case of child sex abuse”, she mentioned, noting that the prime minister had but to apologise.

“You are a better man than many of your detractors will ever understand, which is why it is so desperately sad that you let yourself down by making a scurrilous accusation against the leader of the opposition.”

Mirza, who was as soon as a member of the now-defunct Revolutionary Communist Celebration, labored with Johnson when he was mayor of London from 2008 to 2016, becoming a member of him in Downing Road from 2019.

Talking to Channel 5 Information on Thursday earlier than information broke of the opposite resignations, Johnson mentioned he was “sorry to lose” Mirza, crediting her for “an outstanding job”.

Dominic Cummings, Johnson’s former chief aide turned bitter foe, mentioned Mirza’s resignation was an “unmistakable signal the bunker is collapsing” because the “partygate” allegations swirl.

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