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7 Feb, 2022 15:06

Johnson’s wife’s ‘favorite’ leaves Downing Street

Senior adviser Henry Newman will move to the Levelling Up department as exodus of PM’s staff continues
Johnson’s wife’s ‘favorite’ leaves Downing Street

On Monday, the prime minister’s office confirmed that Henry Newman, a senior adviser within Downing Street, had left his role. He becomes the sixth aide to leave Downing Street since Prime Minister Boris Johnson vowed to act following Sue Gray’s damning report into conduct within No. 10.

Speaking to the media, a Downing Street spokesman confirmed the departure. “It was a mutually agreed decision with the prime minister for him to go to the Department for Levelling Up, which is obviously a vitally important department, where he will be able to provide advice to Michael Gove.” 

The departing adviser was a former protege of Michael Gove and worked on Dominic Cummings’ Vote Leave campaign

Newman is also a close friend of Johnson’s wife Carrie, who was targeted by Tory peer Lord Michael Ashcroft in a serialized biography on Sunday. Ashcroft claimed Carrie had prevented the PM from becoming a great leader and suggested she didn’t have many friends. Mrs. Johnson previously described Newman as one of her “favorite people” in a photograph posted in 2019.

The spokesman said that there would be recruitment announcements and more changes in the coming days, noting forthcoming hires for a new permanent secretary and a new principal private secretary.

Downing Street has been a hive of activity since Sue Gray’s Partygate report was published last week. It suggested there was a culture of serious misconduct within Downing Street, and Johnson vowed to improve the workings of No.10.

Five aides resigned last week. Policy chief and long-term adviser Munira Mirza started the exodus on Thursday, claiming that she did not agree with Johnson’s assertion that Labour leader Keir Starmer failed to prosecute deceased child sex offender Jimmy Savile when he led the Crown Prosecution Service.